WEIRD THINGS IN OUR CELL CULTURES

Marion Freistadt mfreis at lsumc.edu
Wed Dec 8 14:51:01 EST 1993


Don't laugh-it happens to everyone.  I'm sending this to virology and
methods, so no need to read both messages. I'm writing in desparation. We
keep getting round things in our tissue culture that are almost as big as a
Hela cell.  They float.  They look like they have a thick wall, although
there are also forms that seem as if they have no wall.  Of course, we've
loaded up the cultures with all the usual antibiotics including
amphotericin. It doesn't correlate with one person or one bottle or type of
media or plate or anything trivial. They often look like dividing forms
(doublets) so we thought they are alive but--here's the latest:  they stain
with trypan blue, suggesting that they're not even alive.  We have been
trying to find the source by streaking all the surfaces, water bath and
entries into the lab; we find every imaginable type of bact. and yeast, but
not this larger thing.  One person thought it was an alga, but could not
identify it from a book.  We are now trying to culture them, to see if they
grow.  Even if they're not alive, we need to identify them because they
could be affecting our experiments.

Has anyone had any experience with anything like this???  Thank you.




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