Detection of mycoplasma contaminations

Methods Mol Biol. 2005;290:13-23. doi: 10.1385/1-59259-838-2:013.


Mycoplasma contamination of cell lines is one of the major problems in cell culture technology. The specific, sensitive, and reliable detection of mycoplasma contamination is an important part of mycoplasma control and should be an established method in every cell culture laboratory. New cell lines as well as cell lines in continuous culture must be tested in regular intervals. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methodology offers a fast and sensitive technique to monitor all cultures in a laboratory. The technique can also be used to determine the contaminating mycoplasma species. The described assay can be performed within 3 h, including sample preparation, DNA extraction, performing the PCR reaction, and analysis of the PCR products. Special precautions necessary to avoid false-negative results resulting from inhibitors of the Taq polymerase present in the crude samples and the interpretation of the results are also described.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • Mycoplasma / classification
  • Mycoplasma / isolation & purification*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA Primers