Hepatitis B virus prevalence in first-time blood donors in Flanders, Belgium


To prevent transfer of transfusion-transmissible infections such as hepatitis B virus (HBV) to the patient during blood transfusion, the donor health questionnaire is an important safety measure to identify risk behaviour and defer people (temporarily) from blood donation. In 2019, the Belgian Red Cross shortened the deferral window to one year for donors born in HBV endemic countries to recruit blood donors in certain ethnic groups for saving the lives of patients who share their background. 

Together with the Blood Service, CEBaP aimed to scientifically underpin the current legislation on donor deferrals and to update the current burden of HBV infection in Flanders by assessing the trend of prevalence of HBV infection and associated risk factors in blood donors in Flanders (Belgium) between 2010 and 2018. We collected data of 211,331 first-time blood donors (43.7% males, median age 25 years), donating blood at the Belgian Red Cross in Flanders. Among this first-time blood donor population, about 0.05% were currently infected with HBV and 0.86% showed evidence of HBV exposure (detection of core antibodies). The main finding of this study is that being born in an HBV endemic country is by far the most important risk factor for HBV positivity among first-time blood donors in Flanders. Other findings and strengths and limitations of our analyses can be found in this recent publication in Transfusion.


      The CEBaP website use cookies to help make your visit as smooth as possible. We install necessary and technical cookies to ensure the websites run properly. We also use analytical and advertising cookies to measure and improve the general use of the websites. Indicate below whether you agree to this cookie policy in order to continue.

          These necessary cookies ensure all parts of the website work properly. We can install these cookies without permission. By continuing to use our websites, you agree to the use of the necessary cookies.

          We use cookies for functional purposes. This means that these cookies are necessary for the proper functioning of our websites. These cookies identify and store your preferences (including language) and record whether you have accepted cookies. 

          We use cookies for analytical purposes. These cookies gather information on the technical details of the exchange or the use of the website (pages visited, average length of visit etc.) in order to improve the site’s operation. We use Google Analytics for this (in accordance with the Google Analytics Terms of Use: https://www.google.com/analytics/terms/us.html).

          We use cookies for advertising. These cookies provide us with statistics (which cannot be traced to individual users) to improve our online communications and recruitment for our activities through various channels and to tailor our service to your needs. By accepting these cookies, you also accept the use of the Facebook pixel.