Peripheral blood was collected in a sodium citrate anti‐coagulated blood tube and analysed within 2 h of phlebotomy. Whole blood was incubated in the presence or absence of 10 ng/ml of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (Sigma Life Science, Dublin, Ireland) at 37°C for 1 h. The plasma was then separated by centrifugation and stored at −80°C for later batch processing. IL‐1β, IL‐18 and IL‐1ra production was measured using a multiplex cytokine array customized for this study by Meso Scale Discovery (Manchester, UK) and analysed on the Sector imager and validated (Meso Scale Discovery) [7, 9].

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