Comparison of the reactivity of human and rabbit blood towards pyrogenic stimuli

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Stefanie Schindler
Adrian Bristow
Tammy Cartmell
Thomas Hartung
Stefan Fennrich


A comparison between humans and rabbits was performed based on stimulation of whole blood with well-known pyrogens from Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and lipoteichoic acid (LTA), respectively. The reactivity was measured as release of IL-1ß and IL-8 by ELISA. The reactivity of the two species towards LPS was found to be similar, whereas their reactivity towards LTA differed considerably. Differences between the levels of IL-1ß and IL-8 release were observed in both species. This finding suggests that the In vitro Pyrogen Test (IPT) which uses human blood to detect contaminations, e.g. of injectable drugs, might predict the human reaction to the contamination better than the "gold standard" rabbit pyrogen test.

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Schindler, S., Bristow, A., Cartmell, T., Hartung, T. and Fennrich, S. (2003) “Comparison of the reactivity of human and rabbit blood towards pyrogenic stimuli”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 20(2), pp. 59-63. Available at: (Accessed: 24January2021).

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