Mycoplasma Quality Control

Mycoplasma contamination constitutes a serious concern for cell culturists and endangers almost all aspects of cell physiology, leading to erroneous data, irreversible deterioration and loss of a cell line, and extensive costs in time and money associated with the loss of research. 


Protect your continuous cell lines

Mycoplasma contamination affects roughly 15-35% of continuous cell cultures, resulting in a number of deleterious effects including the induction of chromosomal abnormalities, the disruption of DNA and RNA synthesis, decreased transfection rates, and the inhibition of both cell metabolism and growth rate.

The best protection against mycoplasma is to quickly identify a contaminated culture through routine point-to-consider or PCR-based testing, due to the following:

  • Mycoplasma can grow to densities of 107-108 organisms/mL without affecting obvious changes in the turbidity or pH of the culture media
  • Species can range in size from 0.15-0.3 µm, allowing them to pass through a number of filtration systems
  • Commonly used prophylactic antibiotics are not effective at preventing mycoplasma growth

The most frequently used detection methods include direct culture, Hoechst DNA staining, and PCR-based testing. While direct culture can take 6-12 weeks to complete and some DNA stains are difficult to interpret due to heavy cell lysis, PCR-based testing has been shown to be a rapid and reliable alternative when validated as a comparable method of detection.

ATCC offers a wide range of products to support the development and confirmation of PCR-based detection mycoplasma in cell cultures, raw materials, and culture reagents like media and sera. Check out the resources listed below for more information.

Quantitative Mycoplasma DNA Certified Reference Materials

Certified reference materials produced under an ISO Guide 34:2009 accredited process to confirm identity, well-defined characteristics, and an established chain of custody. These tools are ideal for use in inclusivity/exclusivity testing, establishing limits of detection, and validating or comparing test methods.

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Titered Mycoplasma Reference Strains Panel

A panel of 10 titered mycoplasma reference strains commonly associated with cell culture contamination. Each strain is prepared with a low genome copy (GC) to colony forming unit (CFU) ratio, which is ideal for use in the development and validation of PCR-based methods of detection.

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Universal Mycoplasma Detection Kit

A PCR-based test for the detection of over 60 mycoplasma species, including the eight species most likely to contaminate cell cultures. All components required for the PCR reaction are provided and have been optimized for amplification.

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