[Development and evaluation of a pyrogen test based on human whole blood ] [Article in German]

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Thomas Hartung, Stefan Fennrich, Matthias Fischer, Thomas Montag-Lessing, Albrecht Wendel
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When cells of the immune system, especially blood monocytes and macrophages, come into contact with pyrogenic (fever-inducing) contaminations, they secrete messenger molecules which initiate an hyperthermic reaction in the organism. Of this group of endogenous pyrogens, most is known about interleukin-1 (IL-1). A new pyrogen test makes use of this reaction as a system for detection: The substances which are to be screened are incubated with a small volume of blood from a healthy donor. Any pyrogens present induce the production of IL-1 which can be detected by ELISA.
This test has a higher sensitivity and is more economical than the conventional pyrogen test in rabbits and furthermore reflects the reaction of the relevant species. In contrast to the customary alternative method, the Limulus amoebocyte lysate test (LAL), this test is not restricted to endotoxins from Gram-negative bacteria and is also not hindered by substances which bind endotoxins, such as blood proteins, to the same extent. Consequently, more than 50 non-endotoxin pyrogens have already been traced by this test. The whole blood test is even superior to the LAL in regard to the detection of endotoxins: in a comparison of about 60 endotoxins, there was a correlation of the potency of the individual endotoxins between the whole blood test and the pyrogen test in rabbits, but neither test correlated with the LAL test. In some cases, endotoxins with equal effects in the LAL test differed in potency in the human blood model by a factor of 10 000.
A method has been developed by which cryopreserved blood can be put to use in the test. In this way, blood donations from a donor can be pre-tested so that uniform material may be employed in the test.
This test opens up entirely new perspectives on pyrogen testing for Gram-positive or fungal pyrogens as well as in medicinal products. In addition, it could fill the dangerous security gap which might result from the limitations of testing medications and blood products with LAL only.
The project was supported by ZEBET, D-Berlin, BMBF, D-Bonn, and set, D-Mainz.

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How to Cite
Hartung, T. (1998) “ [Development and evaluation of a pyrogen test based on human whole blood ] [Article in German]”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 15(Supp. 1), pp. 9–10. Available at: https://www.altex.org/index.php/altex/article/view/2077 (Accessed: 19 June 2024).

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