PURPOSE / SCOPE:
Establish a formal policy to ensure that tissue culture cell lines brought into and maintained by ICOM are free of mycoplasma contamination.
Mycoplasma are very small ubiquitous environmental bacteria that parasitize the metabolic mechanisms of eukaryotic cells to facilitate their growth and reproduction. Mycoplasmas lack a cell wall and thus are not susceptible to typical cell culture antibiotics. Mycoplasmas are very infectious and can infect other cells that are maintained in the laboratory without any visible signs of turbidity, pH change or cytopathic effect, thus it is essential that all cell lines are certified to be free from mycoplasma contamination. This policy mandates that all newly acquired tissue culture cell lines be tested for the presence of mycoplasma when they arrive at ICOM and periodically retested to monitor for mycoplasma contamination. The frequency of retesting will be determined for each cell line based on continuity of culture.
This policy requires all cell lines brought into ICOM from vendors or other research institutions to be tested for mycoplasma contamination.
Chair of the Research Department