Participatory syndromic surveillance of influenza in Europe

Caroline Guerrisi, Clément Turbelin, Thierry Blanchon, Thomas Hanslik, Isabelle Bonmarin, Daniel Levy-Bruhl, Daniela Perrotta, Daniela Paolotti, Ronald Smallenburg, Carl Koppeschaar, Ana O. Franco, Ricardo Mexia, William Edmunds, Bersabeh Sile, Richard Pebody, Edward Van Straten, Sandro Meloni, Yamir Moreno, Jim Duggan, Charlotte KjelsøVittoria Colizza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


The growth of digital communication technologies for public health is offering an unconventional means to engage the general public in monitoring community health. Here we present Influenzanet, a participatory system for the syndromic surveillance of influenza-like illness (ILI) in Europe. Through standardized online surveys, the systemcollects detailed profile information and self-reported symptoms volunteered by participants resident in the Influenzanet countries. Established in 2009, it now includes 10 countries representing more than half of the 28 member states of the European Union population. The experience of 7 influenza seasons illustrates how Influenzanet has become an adjunct to existing ILI surveillance networks, offering coherence across countries, inclusion of nonmedically attended ILI, flexibility in case definition, and facilitating individual-level epidemiological analyses generally not possible in standard systems. Having the sensitivity to timely detect substantial changes in population health, Influenzanet has the potential to become a viable instrument for a wide variety of applications in public health preparedness and control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S386-S392
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2016.


  • Cohort
  • Crowdsourced data
  • Influenza
  • Internet
  • Risk factors
  • Surveillance


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