The programme builds on cooperation between clinical microbiological laboratories and the Public Health Agency of Sweden, and complements the epidemiological surveillance conducted through SmiNet and other non-microbial surveillance systems. The choice of infectious agents and its scope are based on the current epidemiological situation and prioritised based on the relevance of microbial surveillance data and the potential to use the data for action.
In addition to microbiological surveillance the programme aims to give outbreak support as well as data for evaluations of preventive actions such as vaccinations.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden is a WHO-accredited national polio laboratory and a national polio containment coordinator responsible for Sweden's obligations to map the incidence of polioviruses in microbiological establishments in Sweden.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden evaluates the effect of the vaccination programme by various means including seroimmunity studies in the population. These studies are carried out to determine whether the immunity in the population changes over time. This may, for example, lead to changes in the national vaccination programme, such as the relocation of booster doses or vaccines being withdrawn, changed or introduced.
Sentinel influenza surveillance
From the 2014–2015 season onwards, sentinel influenza surveillance only involves sentinel sampling. Previously, surveillance also included sentinel reporting by physicians. Sentinel sampling enables the Public Health Agency of Sweden to estimate the fraction of people with symptoms of influenza actually being infected by influenza virus. The Public Health Agency of Sweden is also able to monitor which strains of influenza virus that are in circulation in the population and whether vaccines and antivirals are effective or resistance has developed, respectively.