International validation of pyrogen tests based on cryopreserved human primary blood cells

Stefanie Schindler, Ingo Spreitzer, Bettina Löschner, Sebastian Hoffmann, Kilian Hennes, Marlies Halder, Peter Brügger, Esther Frey, Thomas Hartung, Thomas Montag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Pyrogens as fever-inducing agents can be a major health hazard in parenterally applied drugs. For the control of these contaminants, pyrogen testing for batch release is required by pharmacopoeias. This has been done either by the in vivo rabbit pyrogen test (since 1942) or the limulus amoebocyte lysate test (LAL), since 1976. New approaches include cell-based assays employing in vitro culture of human immune cells which respond e.g. by cytokine production (IL-1β; IL-6) upon contact with pyrogens. Six variants of these assays have been validated in a collaborative international study. The recent successful development of cryopreservation methods promises to make standardized immunoreactive primary human blood cells available for widespread use. Furthermore, the pretesting of donors for infectious agents such as HIV or hepatitis has made it possible to develop a safe and standardised reagent for pyrogen testing. Using a total of 13 drugs, we have validated the pyrogen test based on fresh and cryopreserved human whole blood in four laboratories. The test reached > 90% sensitivity and specificity. In contrast to the LAL, the test was capable of detecting non-endotoxin pyrogens derived from Gram-positive bacteria or fungi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-51
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 30 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryopreservation
  • IL-1β
  • Pyrogen testing
  • Validation study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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