Cell Culture Bottle, working cell bank

Testing for the Absence of Mycoplasma Contamination

As part of the master cell banking and working cell banking process, all cell lines are tested and certified to be mycoplasma negative (-). Mycoplasma are a group of bacteria that lack a cell wall around their cell membrane making them resistant to most antibiotics. The presence of mycoplasma in a cell culture could induce cellular changes including chromosomal aberrations, changes in metabolism and cell growth. 

This certification is necessary to not only prevent the contamination of other cell lines during the cell culture process, but to avoid the detrimental effects mycoplasma contamination may have on protein or antibody expression. It is estimated that 15% of US labs and up to 60% of Asian Labs are contaminated with mycoplasma. The top 5 reasons and benefits to test and certify your cell lines are as follows:

  1. Worldwide estimates are 35% of existing cell banks may be contaminated
  2. Loss of engineered cell lines that took many months or years to create
  3. Major impact on data reliability and reproducibility
  4. Testing is required by many journals for publication and by regulatory agencies
  5. Loss of financial resources such as grants dependent on specific cell lines

It is the policy of leinco Technologies to thaw all cells in a quarantined clean room suite. All incoming vials are tested for mycoplasma contamination while in quarantine. If the initial mycoplasma test is negative, the cell line will be expanded for potential cryopreservation of sufficient back up vials.