What are endotoxins?

Endotoxins are a heat-stable toxins which are related with the outer membranes gram-negative bacteria.  They are also known by the names: lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and lipoglycans. The endotoxins comprise of a core polysaccharide chain, O-specific polysaccharide side chains (O-antigen) and a lipid component, Lipid A. Lipid A is responsible for the toxic effect of the endotoxins. The function of endotoxins in a gram negative bacteria is mainly protective and structural.

History of endotoxins

Endotoxins were discovered by Richard Friedrich Johannes Pfeiffer. He named them endotoxins, in opposition with exotoxins, which are toxins that are released by bacteria into the surrounding environment. In his opinion the endotoxins could release their toxins only after the cell wall of the bacteria was destroyed (which was proven later that is not necessarily true).

Level of endotoxins

The level of endotoxin is caused by the medium which is used for the production/ cultivation of the mites. In our production process we do not add any proteins. The only compound we use in our products which is not strictly from mites is the medium where the mites feed on. This medium contains an absolute low number of non-mite proteins. We try to cultivate the mites with the lowest amount of bacteria and moulds possible. All of our products will be delivered with a certificate of analysis and the level of endotoxin.

The influence of the amount of endotoxins on the extract is not completely understood. Moreover, the minimum amount is not familiar and furthermore what is the effect of greater amount of LPS in the extracts is also unknown.

For the use in an allergic asthma animal model a certain level of endotoxin is needed. But for the use in cell cultures a endotoxin free (or very low) extract is needed. Besides our regular HDM extracts we can also deliver the D. pteronyssinus extract with a low level of endotoxin, please contact us for more information.