Collaborative study for establishment of the European Pharmacopoeia BRP batch 1 for diphtheria toxin

Author(s): Sesardic D, Prior C, Daas A, Buchheit KH; National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Hertfordshire,


A stable liquid candidate Biological Reference Preparation (BRP) for diphtheria toxin was prepared in peptone buffer (nominal content of diphtheria toxin: 1 Lf/ml, 0.4 micro g/ml), filled in ampoules (filling volume: 1 ml) and characterised in a collaborative study. The toxin is to be used in the test "Absence of toxin and irreversibility of toxoid" as described in the current European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) monograph Diphtheria Vaccine (Adsorbed) (2002:0443). Eleven laboratories assessed the specific activity of the preparation by in vivo and in vitro assays. The material is assumed to have satisfactory stability with a calculated predicted loss of activity of <1% per year at 4-8 degrees C. From the collaborative study, the specific activity was calculated as 77.6 (45-113) LD( 50)/ml (lethal challenge) and >75 000 Lr/Lf (intradermal challenge). The candidate BRP was successfully used in nine laboratories and confirmed suitable for use in the Vero cell test for "Absence of toxin and irreversibility of toxoid" as described in the Ph. Eur. monograph 2002:0443; i.e., concentrations of 5 x 10( -5) Lf/ml and below caused cytotoxic effects in the Vero cell test. Due to its liquid nature, the stability of the material will be monitored at regular intervals and preparation of a stable freeze-dried formulation will be considered for long-term use. Additional studies will be performed to confirm suitability of this BRP for other applications. The candidate BRP was adopted as the Ph. Eur. reference material for Diphtheria Toxin Batch 1 by the Ph. Eur. Commission at its session in March 2003.

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