GLOSSARY: Endotoxin

An Endotoxin is defined as a poisonous complex molecule (lipopolysaccharide) that forms an integral part of the bacterial (gram-negative bacteria) cell wall and is only released when the integrity of the wall is disturbed. Certain organisms may release endotoxins (e.g. E. coli) during biosynthesis of a recombinant DNA product, thus necessitating purification steps to ensure their removal. In water treatment, it most often refers to pyrogens.