Pyrogen induced secretion of interleukin 6 (IL-6) in Mono Mac 6 (MM6) cells was measured. The ability of the MM6 cell culture to detect pyrogens was compared to the Limulus amoebocyte lysate (LAL) test and isolated mononuclear cells (MNC). The detection limit of MM6 for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Staphylococcus aureus was comparable to that of MNC. Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans induced IL-6 in isolated MNC, but not in MM6. The detection limit for Salmonella typhimurium in the MM6 assay was comparable to that of the LAL assay. As expected, S. aureus and C. albicans did not show any LAL activity. A. niger and Influenza virus showed some activity in the LAL test, but could not be detected by MM6 cells. In conclusion, the MM6 assay is a good supplement to the current pyrogen assays for detection of LPS, S. aureus and S. typhimurium, but the MM6 assay could not detect A. niger, C. albicans and Influenza virus.