Mold contamination in incubator

Lisa J Brunet brunet at
Tue Sep 13 16:48:09 EST 1994

KRUEGER, CHARLES M (krueger at wrote:
: Hi,
: 	I thought I would try our new group out.
: I have a Forma two bacteriological incubator (top/bottom)
: set up.  We have a consistent problem with mold
: contamination in the bottom incubator.  Top incubator
: at 28 C, 100% humidity, no CO2, and no mold contamination
: problems.  Bottom incubator at 35 C, 100% humidity,
: 5% CO2 and constant mold contamination problems.  We
: recently started using 5% CO2 and the mold contamination
: predates the CO2 use by at least two years, so I don't
: think the CO2 is the cause of the problem.
: 	We have tried shutting down the bottom incubator several
: times for a complete decontamination including autoclaving
: anything that was removable and placing powerful multibulb
: UV light source in incubator for several days.  Problem
: returns when we begin using the incubator again.
: 	We grow Bartonella bacilliformis on BBL BHI w/ 10% SB
: in top incubator.  We culture Rochalimae quintana on
: BBL BHI w/ 10% SB in bottom incubator.
: 	Any suggestions (about the above problem!)???
: 					Thanks,
: 					Charles
We have a Forma water jacketed top/bottom CO2 incubator with mold 
problems, too. Our solution is to shut it down every 3 months, wash the 
shelves with fungicide and autoclave, and wash the interior with 70% 
ethanol. Also, we take apart the fan and wash it with bleach. Nothing 
else seems to work except being religious about keeping this schedule, 
and we are reluctant to put any chemicals inside since we grow mammalian 
cells inside. I'd be interested in any other suggestions.
Lisa Brunet, Ph.D. 
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology UC Berkeley Berkeley, CA 94720
brunet at

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