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NVSN - New Vaccine Surveillance Network

Study Team Members

Principal Investigator

  • Peter G. Szilagyi, M.D., M.P.H.


Laboratory Director

  • Kenneth Schnabel, M.B.A..

Project Coordinators

  • Gerry Lofthus, Ph.D.
  • Christina Albertin, M.P.H., B.S.N.


  • Aaron Blumkin, M.S.

Enrollment Personnel

  • Kali DeYoung
  • Wende Froege
  • Julie Goebert

Laboratory Technicians

  • Jennifer Carnahan
  • Lisa Kramer
  • Lynn Shelly

The New Vaccine Surveillance Network (NVSN) is a multi-site surveillance program that estimates the burden of rotavirus and norovirus and other viral causes of acute gastroenteritis before and after new vaccines are licensed in order to evaluate the impact of the vaccines at the population-level.


In 2000, The New Vaccine Surveillance Network (NVSN) was established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to:

  • Evaluate the burden of selected illnesses for which new vaccines were available or were expected to be developed and
  • Measure the impact of these vaccines, after they were licensed, on disease rates and related health outcomes

Rochester is one of the NVSN surveillance sites. This research program has led to major advances in understanding of respiratory and diarrheal diseases, changes in vaccine recommendations, and development of new vaccines. The more than 65 peer-reviewed manuscripts in top journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine have pushed the frontiers of understanding and reducing vaccine-preventable diseases.

Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI)

The NVSN originally focused on ARIs in young children, and used rigorous population-based surveillance methods (in hospitals, emergency departments and outpatient practices) as well as state-of-the-art molecular viral diagnostic techniques such as polymerase chain reaction assay (PCR). Findings from the network greatly improved knowledge regarding the causes of ARIs in children and had a significant impact on pediatric vaccine policy in the U.S., including the universal recommendations for influenza vaccination of all children and adolescents. ARI surveillance also highlighted the role of important viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza virus, human metapneumovirus and others in causing respiratory diseases.

Acute Gastroenteritis (AGE) Infection

In 2005, the network turned its attention to acute gastroenterisitis (AGE) infections, in large part to assess the burden of rotavirus illness before the licensure of the RotaTeq vaccine in 2006 (a second rotavirus vaccine, Rotarix, was also licensed in 2008). Rotavirus had been the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children worldwide. Our surveillance estimated that before the vaccine, 4 out of 5 children in the U.S. had symptomatic rotavirus gastroenteritis, 1 in 7 required a clinic or emergency department visit, 1 in 70 was hospitalized, and 1 in 200,000 would die from this disease within the first 5 years of life. Since the rotavirus vaccine was added to the childhood vaccination schedule, surveillance and research has found it to be very effective in reducing rotavirus illness. Currently we are focusing on surveillance for (a) rotavirus, (b) norovirus (to build the case for a vaccine for this virus, now the leading cause of AGE in the post-rotavirus vaccine era), and (c) other viral causes of AGEs. We are also collecting interview and medical chart review data to better understand the burden and costs of these diseases.

Since 2009, 7 sites across the U.S. participate in the New Vaccine Surveillance Network- Extended System. Please see the CDC website for a map of the surveillance sites, a description of the network and a list of publications.