Revista Española de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1135-5727
CUEVAS GONZALEZ-NICOLAS, María Teresa et al. Pandemic Influenza A(H1N1): the experience of the Spanish Laboratories of Influenza Network (ReLEG). Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2010, vol.84, n.5, pp.481-495. ISSN 1135-5727. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57272010000500003.
There are three types of influenza viruses: A, B, C. These viruses evolves constantly due to two main characteristics: the first one is the lack of the correction ability of the viral polymerase which causes the accumulation of single nucleotide mutations in the viral genes introduced by an error-prone viral RNA polymerase, (antigenic shift). The second one is the nature of their genome, formed by eight segments, which allows the interchange of genes between two different viral strains (antigenic drift). This viral plasticity, has allowed to the influenza A viruses to infect new host species and to cause infections with a pandemic characteristics. The Spanish influenza surveillance system, SVGE (its Spanish acronym), arises as a response to the possibility of facing a pandemic situation, especially after the transmission of avian influenza viruses to humans. This surveillance system is formed by sixteen physician and paediatrics network, nineteen epidemiological services coordinated by the National Epidemiological Centre (CNE) and eighteen laboratories , the Spanish Laboratories of Influenza network (ReLEG), coordinated by the National Centre of Microbiology. The aim of this article is to show the action of the ReLEG, in the pandemic caused by the influenza virus A(H1N1) during the season 2009-2010. The main objective of this network is the surveillance of the circulating viruses by means of their detection and their subsequent antigenic and genetic characterization, including the detection of resistance mutations against the main drugs, such as Oseltamivir.
Keywords : Virology; Sentinel surveillance; Disease Outbreaks; Influenza A virus, H1N1 subtype; Grippe; Influenza, human; Spain.