Study on the presence of antibodies for Covid-19 in Belgian blood donors

Published on: 
Thursday, April 2, 2020
Last updated on 23-4-2020 by Lieke Vervoort

Sciensano investigates how many blood donors have built up antibodies against Covid-19. For this study, Sciensano works together with the Red Cross in Flanders and the Service du Sang in Brussels and Wallonia that supply the blood samples.

This seroprevalence or immunity study will test whether blood donors have produced antibodies against the coronavirus and thus lived through the infection. This study has 3 main objectives:

  • Gain more insight into the developed immunity/resistance for Covid-19. This is done by examining the blood for antibodies. How long and how well these antibodies protect against Covid-19 should be further investigated.
  • Gain a better insight into the number of infections in Belgium among the healthy population. The blood donors meet the requirements to donate blood and were healthy at the time of donation. That does not exclude that they have previously had (mild) symptoms.
  • Investigate to what extent the epidemic is evolving in Belgium.

Every two weeks, the Red Cross Flanders will supply around 1500 samples to Sciensano and Service du sang will do the same for Wallonia and Brussels. These samples are tested for the presence of antibodies to Covid-19. The donors of the Red Cross are generally healthy people from all over Belgium and representative of the healthy population.

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