Cross-contamination of cells in culture

Science. 1981 Apr 24;212(4493):446-52. doi: 10.1126/science.6451928.


Lists are presented of references to all known publications describing cell properties that serve to characterize (i) known strains of HeLa and purported human cell lines indicated as HeLa contaminants, (ii) strains of human cell lines contaminated with human but non-HeLa cells, and (iii) strains of cells contaminated by cells from one or more other species. Frequencies of cell cross-contaminations are cited and references are presented to relatively simple techniques that could serve to detect such contamination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line*
  • Cells, Cultured / enzymology
  • Cells, Cultured / physiology*
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase / analysis
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / analysis
  • Karyotyping
  • Phosphoglucomutase / analysis
  • Species Specificity


  • Isoenzymes
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase
  • Phosphoglucomutase