Résumé : A national one-day prevalence survey of nosocomial infections was carried out in March 1984 in 106 Belgian acute-care hospitals involving 8723 patients of whom 6130 had undergone surgery. Three infections were studied: surgical wound infection, bacteraemia and urinary-tract infection. One or more of these three infections was recorded in 9·3% of all patients and in 11·8% of surgical patients. Prevalences increased with increasing duration of hospital stay and with higher ages, but the association of HAI with age was no longer significant after correction for duration of hospital stay. Prevalences varied considerably in different specialities. After adjustment for age and duration of stay, there was no association between perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis and the prevalence of the infections studied, but bias due to selection of higher risk patients in the antibiotic group was probable. Larger hospitals had a higher overall prevalence, but populations differed according to the size of the hospital. Bacteraemia was strongly associated with the presence of an intravenous catheter, and urinary-tract infection with a urinary catheter. © 1987.