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Methods Mol Biol. 2011;731:105-14. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-080-5_9.

Elimination of mycoplasmas from infected cell lines using antibiotics.

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DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen, Braunschweig, Germany.


Mycoplasma contamination may have multiple effects on cultured cell lines and this can also have a significant influence on the results of scientific studies, and certainly on the quality of cell culture products used in medicine and pharmacology. The elimination of mycoplasma contamination from cell cultures is an inevitable need when contaminated cell lines cannot be replaced by mycoplasma-free cell lines. The eradication of mycoplasmas with specific antibiotics has been shown to be one of the most efficient methods to permanently cleanse the cell culture. The effective antibiotics belong to the classes of fluoroquinolones, macrolides, and tetracyclines. The protocols describe the single use of diverse fluoroqinolones as well as combination therapies with antibiotics from different antibiotic classes or of antibiotics and antimicrobial peptides. Special emphasis has been placed to assure eradication of mycoplasma without the development of resistant mycoplasma strains and to treat heavily infected and damaged cultures as well as cultures which are sensitive to specific antibiotics. Experience has shown that no detectable alterations are found to affect eukaryotic cells during the course of the treatment. Antibiotic treatment of mycoplasma infected cultures appears to be the most practical, robust, and efficient approach.

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