culture contamination

Leman Leman at Leman.org
Thu Mar 29 21:51:30 EST 2001

On Thu, 29 Mar 2001 19:39:24 -0500, "Nanci E Donacki"
<nancieed at erols.com> wrote:

>> Solution # 2:
>> As I was told, EVERYBODY contaminates cell cultures with mycoplasma.
>> There is no way to completely prevent it. The difference is in the
>> number of particles we introduce and their agressiveness. We carry
>> different strains and different amounts. That is why some people never
>> seem to have mycoplasma problems, while others suffer from it more
>> often, inspite of any aseptic measures. Find out who in your lab is
>> the unlucky one and who is more fortunate in this sense.

>Really?  This is news to me!  I've been doing cell culture for over 20
>years, and the only case of mycoplasma I've ever had was from contaminated
>FBS back in the early  80's - before they routinely tested for it.

It doesn't really prove my point wrong: you could be just carrying a
weak strain that never took off in your cultures. However, I am not
going to argue, since my only references are hearsay.

>Users are generally the primary source of contamination, but it is related
>to technique.  Some people - no matter how hard they try - are just not cut
>out for cell culture.

This is true. And some of it might have nothing to do with their
In any case, it is much more important to find out WHO contaminates
your lab's cultures than WHY. As you said, some people might be much
more useful outside the TC room (and not fired or demoted).


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