Mycoplasma Contamination

The Invisible Threat!

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   Why should you care about Mycoplasma contamination control?

According to Uphoff et al.[1] about 30 % of all continuous cell lines are infected with various Mycoplasma species leading to significant changes of cell properties (e.g. growth, morphology, metabolism,...)[2]. Being among the smallest self-replicating prokaryotes Mycoplasma is – even at high densities – practically invisible (except electron microscopy) and capable to passage sterile filters. Due to the lack of a cell wall and high resistance rates they are not affected by most antibiotics (e.g. penicillin, streptomycin) commonly applied in cell culture.

   How does contamination occur?

Cross-contamination from incoming cell lines as well as lab personnel are considered the most prevalent sources of mycoplasmal infections.

Contaminations may be spread through culture reagents (serum, media, additives).

Figure 1: Even liquid nitrogen has been reported to contain major Mycoplasma contaminants.

   Good cell culture practices are crucial to prevent Mycoplasma contamination!

In order to gain reproducible and reliable experimental data, routine testing of cell lines is inevitable! We advise testing whenever new cell lines are introduced to the lab as well as routine assessment of running cultures 1x per month.

Jena Bioscience Mycoplasma Detection Kit enables:

  • PCR-based testing in less than 1.5 hrs
  • Reliable results due to amplification of highly conserved 16S rRNA coding region
  • Higher sensitivity compared to DAPI-test

Want to learn more about Jena Bioscience Contamination Control Kits?

   Cell Culture Control

Kit Cat. No. Price
Squirrel Monkey Retrovirus Detection Kit PP-403 From 114,00 €

   Nuclease and Protease Control

Kit Cat. No. Price
DNase Detection Kit PP-402 From 46,53 €
DNase + RNase Detection Kit PP-407 From 67,21 €
Protease Detection Kit PP-404 From 88,41 €
P-Check® Protease Detection Kit PP-408 220,00 €

[1] Uphoff et al. (2002) Comparative PCR analysis for detection of Mycoplasma infections in continuous cell lines. In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Animal 38.2:79.
[2] Drexler et al. (2002): Mycoplasma contamination of cell cultures: Incidence, sources, effects, detection, elimination, prevention. Cytotechnology 39.2:75.

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Dr. Mathias Grün
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