High sensitivity pyrogen testing in water and dialysis solutions

Mardas Daneshian, Albrecht Wendel, Thomas Hartung, Sonja von Aulock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: The dialysis patient is confronted with hundreds of litres of dialysis solution per week, which pass the natural protective barriers of the body and are brought into contact with the tissue directly in the case of peritoneal dialysis or indirectly in the case of renal dialysis (hemodialysis). The components can be tested for living specimens or dead pyrogenic (fever-inducing) contaminations. The former is usually detected by cultivation and the latter by the endotoxin-specific Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate Assay (LAL). However, the LAL assay does not reflect the response of the human immune system to the wide variety of possible pyrogenic contaminations in dialysis fluids. Furthermore, the test is limited in its sensitivity to detect extremely low concentrations of pyrogens, which in their sum result in chronic pathologies in dialysis patients. The In vitro Pyrogen Test (IPT) employs human whole blood to detect the spectrum of pyrogens to which humans respond by measuring the release of the endogenous fever mediator interleukin-1β. Spike recovery checks exclude interference. The test has been validated in an international study for pyrogen detection in injectable solutions. Methods: In this study we adapted the IPT to the testing of dialysis solutions. Results: Preincubation of 50 ml spiked samples with albumin-coated microspheres enhanced the sensitivity of the assay to detect contaminations down to 0.1 pg/ml LPS or 0.001 EU/ml in water or saline and allowed pyrogen detection in dialysis concentrates or final working solutions. Conclusions: This method offers high sensitivity detection of human-relevant pyrogens in dialysis solutions and components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Dialysis fluids
  • Interleukin-1[beta]
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Pyrogen testing
  • Whole blood test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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