Santé Publique France - Département des Maladies Infectieuses (SpF-DMI) - EPIET

acknowledged by EPIET
Santé publique France - Département des Maladies Infectieuses (SpF-DMI)
12, rue du Val d’Osne, Saint Maurice CEDEX
FR-94415 Paris

Contact person

Kostas Danis
Tel. +33 1 55 12 53 34

Description of the Institute

Santé publique France, the French national public health agency is a governmental institution reporting to the Ministry of Health. Created in 2016, Santé publique France brings together the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance (InVS), the National Institute for Prevention and Health Education, and the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Agency. Santé publique France has the following mission:

  • to co-ordinate and implement public health surveillance;
  • to study the determinants of changes of trends of diseases;
  • to alert national public health authorities on potential threats to health,
  • to assist public health authorities in disease control, prevention and health promotion;
  • to contribute to the response to health alerts and crises.
    The French territory comprises 13 administrative regions. The Regional Units (Cire) represent Public Health France at the regional level and act on behalf of the national agency. In Paris, Public Health France is organized in Departments and one of which is the infectious diseases Department (DMI).

Training site

The infectious diseases department (DMI = Départment des maladies infectieuses) has 65 staff members, including 45 epidemiologists. The department is responsible for: national surveillance of infectious diseases (mandatory notifications, laboratory networks, hospital based networks, etc.); providing assistance in close collaboration with CIRE, to Regional Health Agencies in outbreak investigations, coordinating or conducting investigation of outbreaks of national or inter- regional importance; conducting or coordinating planned studies (applied epidemiological research) on infectious disease risk factors to guide prevention and control strategies; and the evaluation of prevention activities or programmes. The planned studies may include modelling of infectious diseases. The activities of the DMI are closely linked to health policy and decision making, which are the responsibility of the health authorities.

Each region is responsible for the management of the regional health system, through a Regional Health Agency (Agencé Régionale de Santé - ARS). Regional offices of Public Health France (called CIRE) have been set up over the last 20 years. These regional offices, act on behalf of the national institute at the regional level and, coordinate a regional alert and surveillance program in close collaboration with the national centre of Public Health France. For the investigation of infectious disease outbreaks there is a close and frequent interaction between DMI and the CIRE. In the field of nosocomial infections, the DMI collaborates closely within a structured network composed of five inter-regional centres responsible for the inter-regional coordination of hospital infection control, prevention, surveillance and outbreak response.

The DMI has four units covering different fields of infectious diseases:

  • AIDS and HIV epidemiology, STDs and viral hepatitis
  • Vaccine preventable and respiratory infections
  • Enteric and food-borne diseases, zoonoses, vectorborne and tropical diseases,
  • Health care associated infections, and antibiotic resistance
    Statistical support is provided by the statistical unit (DATA).
    The EPIET fellows can work on projects in any of these units and most often he/she will be working with several units. All senior epidemiologists of the five units are involved in the supervision of fellows working on their specific projects. In addition, the fellows often work closely with the statisticians of the statistical unit.
    Public Health France has no laboratories but the DMI works very closely with a network of 47 national reference laboratories.

Training opportunities

The training site offers many opportunities in the field of epidemiology applied to infectious diseases control and prevention in France: outbreak investigation, designing and/or evaluation of surveillance systems, surveillance data analysis, protocol design and applied research (planned studies). There are also opportunities for international investigations or investigations in the overseas regions.

The trainee will be expected to participate in at least one of each of the following activities: outbreak investigation, analysis of surveillance data, evaluation of a surveillance system, collaboration in a European project, and to conduct a planned study. Writing scientific reports and articles is expected. There are several teaching opportunities, and the fellows usually contribute to the training program of the French public health residents assigned to Santé publique France and to the three week French field epidemiology course (IDEA).

Recent examples of work done by EPIET trainees (EU-track and MS-track) include: investigation of outbreaks: foodborne outbreaks (salmonellosis, STEC infections, listeriosis, typhoid fever, etc;), Q fever, hepatitis A and E, leptospirosis in a prison, chikungunya, and Zika virus, etc; as well as, evaluation of the  surveillance system for hemolytic uremic syndrome, evaluation of the surveillance system for arboviruses, setting up surveillance for Zika virus infections and its complications; case-control studies on risk factors for infection (lSTEC infections); international assignments: to Guinea for the 2014 Ebola outbreak, DRC for a large measles outbreak and Haiti for a Cholera outbreak.

Training supervision

General supervision is provided by Kostas Danis, former EPIET coordinator, and Henriette de Valk, Head of the unit for enteric, foodborne, zoonotic vectorborne and tropical infections. Supervision of specific projects will be provided by senior epidemiologists in the Department.

Language requirements

French and English

Training history

Number of EPIET fellows trained at DMI: 19 EU-track
and 3 MS-track (1995-2017)
Number of EPIET alumni working at DMI: 7
Number of EPIET fellows currently in training: 1 EU-track