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Exposure to organic dusts or bioaerosols is associated with a variety of acute and chronic
respiratory symptoms. In seeking to control organic dust-induced diseases it is necessary to identify and quantify the toxic agents in the dust.
Here we describe an in vitro assay – a human whole blood assay- that can be used to estimate the inflammatory potency of organic dust samples. With the whole blood assay the inflammation reaction that bioaerosols cause in the respiratory tract is exactly characterized. That assay is able to detect a broad spectrum of macrophage activating substances and not only endotoxins as the limulus assay.