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This article is part of the supplement: Department of Defense Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (GEIS): an update for 2009

Open Access Review

Enteric disease surveillance under the AFHSC-GEIS: Current efforts, landscape analysis and vision forward

Nisha N Money1, Ryan C Maves2, Peter Sebeny3, Matthew R Kasper4, Mark S Riddle5* and the AFHSC-GEIS Enteric Surveillance Writing Group67

Author Affiliations

1 Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, 503 Robert Grant Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA

2 Naval Medical Research Center Detachment, Centro Medico Naval “CMST,” Av. Venezuela CDRA 36, Callao 2, Lima, Peru

3 Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Extension of Ramses Street, Adjacent to Abbassia Fever Hospital, Postal Code 11517, Cairo, Egypt

4 Naval Medical Research Unit Number 2, Kompleks Pergudangan DEPKES R.I., JI. Percetakan Negara II No. 23, Jakarta 10560, Indonesia

5 Naval Medical Research Center, 503 Robert Grant Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA

6 US Army Medical Research Unit Kenya (USAMRU-K), U.S. Embassy, Attention: MRU, United Nations Avenue, Post Office Box 606, Village Market 00621 Nairobi, Kenya

7 U.S. Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit No. 2, 1887 Powhatan Street, Norfolk, VA 23511, USA

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11(Suppl 2):S7  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-S2-S7

Published: 4 March 2011


The mission of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, Division of Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (AFHSC-GEIS) is to support global public health and to counter infectious disease threats to the United States Armed Forces, including newly identified agents or those increasing in incidence. Enteric diseases are a growing threat to U.S. forces, which must be ready to deploy to austere environments where the risk of exposure to enteropathogens may be significant and where routine prevention efforts may be impractical. In this report, the authors review the recent activities of AFHSC-GEIS partner laboratories in regards to enteric disease surveillance, prevention and response. Each partner identified recent accomplishments, including support for regional networks. AFHSC/GEIS partners also completed a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) survey as part of a landscape analysis of global enteric surveillance efforts. The current strengths of this network include excellent laboratory infrastructure, equipment and personnel that provide the opportunity for high-quality epidemiological studies and test platforms for point-of-care diagnostics. Weaknesses include inconsistent guidance and a splintered reporting system that hampers the comparison of data across regions or longitudinally. The newly chartered Enterics Surveillance Steering Committee (ESSC) is intended to provide clear mission guidance, a structured project review process, and central data management and analysis in support of rationally directed enteric disease surveillance efforts.