Red de Hospitales para el Estudio de la Gripe y Virus Respiratorios / Valencia Hospital Network for the study of Influenza & other Respiratory virus diseases


Entidades colaboradoras / Collaborating sites


Research Group
Senior Researcher
Joan Puig-Barberà

Ainara Mira Iglesias
Beatriz Guglieri-López
Víctor Baselga Moreno



Centro Europeo de Excelencia 
de Investigación en Vacunas


Vaccine Research


Global Influenza Hospital Surveillance Network (GIHSN)

Since 2012, FISABIO coordinates and promotes the "Global Influenza Surveillance Network Hospital" (GIHSN) initiative, composed of hospitals in Spain (located in the Valencia region), Russian Federation, Turkey, China and Brazil.

Currently, the second year of the GIHSN is in work, where coordination is carried out by the Vaccine Research Department at FISABIO – Public Health, as requested by the Network's funder Sanofi Pasteur.

The Global Influenza Hospital-based Surveillance Network (GIHSN) is based on public-private partnerships and includes hospitals in multiple countries following the same core protocol, locally adapted.

The aim of the GIHSN is to improve the understanding of the global epidemiology of influenza across a wide geographical coverage and standardization of data collection, and to have more robust and accurate scientific knowledge on the epidemiology of influenza.

This active hospital surveillance network focuses on estimating the incidence of severe influenza disease, and the incidence of the disease attributable to each strain. In addition, whenever  possible,  it  provides  the  framework  for  estimating  effectiveness  of  seasonal influenza vaccines in prevention of severe cases in various age and risk groups.
In hospitals that wish to, an estimate of the burden of disease caused by respiratory viruses other than influenza is also made.

This season 2014-2015 the GIHSN has the support of several hospitals located in China, Czech Republic, Brazil, Mexico, Russian Federation, Spain and Turkey.



First GIHSN Annual Meeting"  Valencia, June 2013

GIHSN Annual Meeting, Annecy (France), October 2014.

Publications, Communitations and Reports



Hospital admissions related to respiratory viruses.
Valencia Hospital Network for the Study of Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses


Respiratory viruses cause high mortality and morbidity during the winter season and are a major cause of hospitalization.

The estimate of the burden of disease due to severe respiratory virus infections is subject to classification bias due to concurrent circulation of these viruses, with similar clinical manifestations.

Our aim is to estimate the incidence of admissions associated with each of the studied respiratory viruses (influenza A and B viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, bocavirus, adenovirus, coronavirus, rhrinovirus, parainfluenza virus and metapneumovirus), by age group and type of virus.

A multicenter, prospective study is conducted using a protocol of active uptake of consecutive admissions to determine the presence of viral infection through real time polymerase chain reaction (multiplex RT-PCR/PCR) in nasopharyngeal and nasal swabs in hospitals in the Valencia region.

The information obtained through active surveillance provides reliable data on morbidity and mortality from respiratory virus that can inform health professionals and decision makers about the appropriate use of vaccines and treatments.

Publications, Communitations and Reports




Seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness. Valencia Hospital Network for the Study of Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses

Influenza occurs in temperate areas as annual seasonal epidemics. These epidemics are associated with excess morbidity, hospitalizations and deaths. Vaccination is considered the most effective strategy for preventing influenza and is recommended for groups at high risk of serious complications.

The effectiveness of the flu vaccine each season varies depending on the antigenic proximity between the vaccine and circulating strains.

We conduct an annual assessment of the effectiveness of the seasonal influenza vaccine used in the Valencia region for patients over 18 years of age, with confirmed influenza virus infection through polymerase chain reaction (real-time multiplex RT-PCR) in nasopharyngeal and nasal samples, and comparing the probability of being vaccinated among hospitalized patients positive for influenza against hospitalized patients negative for infection.

Patients included in the study are considered immunized if they can remember the year, month of vaccination and place where they were administered the vaccine and if the vaccination period is at least 15 days or more since the beginning of the process that led to the current admission.

Information on the patient's month and year of vaccination and type of vaccine administered is validated through the Valencia Vaccine Information System.

Publications, Communitations and Reports



Comparative seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness.
Valencia Hospital Network for the Study of Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses

Influenza in the elderly (65 years old or older) is a major burden in dividuals, the society and health services. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to have an influenza infection due to a decrease in the function of the immune system and age-related comorbidities. Not only is influenza associated with an excess mortality in the elderly (90 % of deaths attributable to seasonal influenza occurs in the age group of 65 or more years old), but for every influenza-related death there are up to 8  hospital admissions that are also associated to a significant higher risk of functional decline.

Vaccination is considered by public health authorities as the most effective method to reduce the consequences of influenza virus infections. However, flu vaccines produce a reduced antibody response in the elderly and show a lower efficiency compared to responses in young adults.

Adjuvated and virosomal influenza vaccines availability, designed to enhance and modulate the immune response, is a significant progress. However, these vaccines must demonstrate the ability to provide a superior and larger protection in the elderly people than that conferred by traditional seasonal influenza vaccines by obtaining clinically relevant results.

To compare the protection conferred by virosomal vaccines, adjuvated vaccines or non-adjuvated influenza vaccines, both split and subunit vaccines, we conduct comparative effectiveness studies of the different vaccines.

We estimate the reduction of the risk of being an admission possibly related to influenza disease of those vaccinated with virosomal or adjuvated vaccine (depending on the type of vaccine distributed each year in the Valencia region) compared to those vaccinated with non-adjuvanted or non-virosomal influenza vaccine during the influenza virus circulation period.

Publications, Communitations and Reports




Pilot Sub-study of the saliva based rapid diagnosis test ScanaFlu for influenza diagnosis

The ‘Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research of Valencia Region' (FISABIO) along with the Scanadu company started in February the pilot sub-study titled "Pilot Sub-study of the saliva based rapid diagnosis test ScanaFlu for influenza diagnosis".

This sub-study aims to describe the accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of the diagnostic device 'ScanaFlu ' (not yet commercially available), comparing the result of the rapid test with the PCR result of an aliquot of the saliva samples taken, and the PCR result of the nasopharyngeal sample of the same patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis possibly related to influenza, included in the main study.

ScanaFlu is a prototype device that detects influenza in a saliva specimen using Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) PCR technology. The device is designed to be rapid and non-invasive with an easy and convenient sample collection and preparation steps.

The saliva sample is introduced into a buffer sample preparation for 1-2 minutes before being inserted into the device. Automatic reading of the result is displayed in 15 - 60 minutes after the sample is loaded onto the biochip.

Scanaflu can not be reused, and should be discarded after each use.

The device allows to send the results via wireless methods (low energy bluetooth) to a computer, tablet or smartphone or to store them on the device.
The sub-study is conducted in hospitalized patients of all age groups in the Hospital General de Castellón and Hospital La Plana de Villarreal, Valencia, Spain, during the influenza season 2013-2014.

The recruitment will end when 200 subjects planned for the sub-study are recruited or when the end of the main study is reached, whichever occurs first.