The National Reference Centre for Hepatitis Viruses is a consortium between Sciensano and the Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc (UCL). We perform laboratory confirmation and surveillance of hepatitis virus B, C, D and E infections. We also provide laboratory assistance to the authorities to control outbreaks of hepatitis A virus (HAV).
The National Reference Centre (NRC) for Hepatitis Viruses performs serological and molecular testing for Hepatitis B, C, D and E. We detect and confirm hepatitis virus-specific antibodies, antigens, RNA and DNA and perform genotyping of viral isolates/strains.
The NRC examines mutations that convey resistance to hepatitis B or C antivirals. We have developed and validate new assays to detect drug-resistance mutations in the NS3, NS5A and NS5B polymerase genes of HCV.
Serological and molecular tests to detect parameters of virus infection or immunisation in non-invasive oral fluid samples have been developed (HAV, HBV, HCV) or are under development (HEV). These oral fluid tests are applied for outbreak investigations and epidemiological studies.
We examine the seroprevalence and/or immunisation coverage against HAV, HBV, HCV and HEV in the Belgian population. We have conducted a retrospective multicentre study to map the prevalence of different HCV genotypes in Belgium from 2008 to 2015. We collaborate with the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp to validate HCV detection kits and determine the prevalence of different HCV genotypes in Cambodia.