COVID-19: activities of the French Sentinelles network (“Réseau Sentinelles”)

COVID-19: activities of the French Sentinelles network (“Réseau Sentinelles”)

The French Sentinelles network is involved in several monitoring and research activities pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. These activities are described below.

Monitoring the epidemic in metropolitan France

The French Sentinelles network is in charge of monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic in primary care (general medicine and outpatient pediatrics).

This monitoring is based on:

  • collecting the number of cases of acute respiratory infections (ARI) seen in general practice’s consultations;
  • swabbing a samples of these ARI cases, allowing identification of the following viruses: SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus or metapneumovirus.

From this information, the number of COVID-19 cases seen each week in general medicine consultations is estimated. These estimates, as well as descriptive information of cases, are published each week in the epidemiological report of the Sentinelles network.

Find the results:

The perception of the COVID-19 pandemic

This study, conducted in February 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, aimed to estimate the level of knowledge,  risk perception and acceptance of health recommendations in three different populations: the general population, primary care practitioners, and pharmacists.

In the general population, data were collected through the / cohort spanning six European countries: Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom and Switzerland. For general practitioners and pediatricians, the study was conducted by sentinel networks in three countries: the “Sciensano” network in Belgium, the “Red centinela Sanitaria” network in Spain and the “Réseau Sentinelles” in France. This study was funded by the REACTing consortium.

I-Move COVID-19

The French Sentinelles network participates in the European “I-MOVE COVID-19” project coordinated by Epiconcept. This project was funded by the European Commission, as part of the H2020 initiative and the call for proposal “Advancing knowledge for the clinical and public health response to the novel coronavirus epidemic”.

The I-MOVE-COVID-19 consortium collects epidemiological and clinical information on patients with COVID-19, as well as virological information on SARS-CoV-2, through (a) the availability of a flexible surveillance platform, (b) research studies and (c) the evaluation of public health interventions.

To achieve this goal, the consortium relies on the European influenza surveillance network (I-MOVE), of which the French Sentinelles network has been a part since 2015. I-MOVE brings together primary care networks, hospitals and national reference centers reference in ten countries of the WHO European region.

In primary care, the objectives of the work carried out under the I-MOVE-COVID-19 project are as follows:

  • to strengthen European surveillance systems to rapidly detect and report COVID-19 cases in primary care, in order to contribute to the knowledge base, guide patient care and inform public health response for COVID-19 in Europe;
  • to estimate the effectiveness of vaccines against COVID-19 in patients seen in primary care consultation using data collected by sentinel primary care surveillance networks;
  • to study factors associated with COVID-19 in patients seen in primary care and / or health professionals in general medicine.

For more information on this project, click on the link:

COVID-A: Study of the clinical and virological evolution of suspected COVID-19 patients initially seen in primary care consultation.

The COVID-A study aims to describe the clinical and virological evolution of the COVID-19 disease in its initial phase, in patients seen in primary care in mainland France (regardless of secondary hospitalization).The study is conducted in patients included by physicians from the French Sentinelles network. Clinical progress is monitored through a daily symptom questionnaire (sent to the patients by email or SMS). At the same time, they are asked to perform self-collections of gargle samples for virological analyses, on the day of inclusion, and then 2, 4 and 6 days later.

For more information, click on the link:

COVID-SeroPRIM: Seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies among health professionals in primary care and their household contacts.

This study aims to provide knowledge on the level of infection and immunity (acquired naturally or by vaccination) against SARS-CoV-2 in primary care health professionals and in members of their household.

With the collaboration of the French Association of Ambulatory Pediatrics (AFPA), the Clinical Research Network in Liberal Dentistry (ReCOL), and IQVIA, this study is implemented in four populations of health professionals: general practitioners, pediatricians, health professionals working in pharmacies and dentist office staff in mainland France. This study was funded by the National Research Agency (ANR), as part of the "RA-COVID-19" call for tenders. More information will soon be available on this study.

Modeling studies conducted using French Sentinelles network data

The data published by the French Sentinelles network and / are used in modeling studies, including work carried out by researchers from IPLESP: