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Biologicals. 2013 Nov;41(6):377-83. doi: 10.1016/j.biologicals.2013.07.002. Epub 2013 Jul 31.

Collaborative study report: evaluation of the ATCC experimental mycoplasma reference strains panel prepared for comparison of NAT-based and conventional mycoplasma detection methods.

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CBER, FDA, Division of Viral Products, 1401 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-1448, USA.


The main goal of this collaborative study was to evaluate the experimental panel of cryopreserved mycoplasma reference strains recently prepared by the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC(®)) in order to assess the viability and dispersion of cells in the mycoplasma stocks by measuring the ratio between the number of genomic copies (GC) and the number of colony forming units (CFU) in the reference preparations. The employment of microbial reference cultures with low GC/CFU ratios is critical for unbiased and reliable comparison of mycoplasma testing methods based on different methodological approaches, i.e., Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) and compendial culture-based techniques. The experimental panel included ten different mycoplasma species known to represent potential human and animal pathogens as well as common contaminants of mammalian and avian cell substrates used in research, development, and manufacture of biological products. Fifteen laboratories with expertise in field of mycoplasma titration and quantification of mycoplasmal genomic DNA participated in the study conducted from February to October of 2012. The results of this study demonstrated the feasibility of preparing highly viable and dispersed (possessing low GC/CFU ratios) frozen stocks of mycoplasma reference materials, required for reliable comparison of NAT-based and conventional mycoplasma detection methods.


Alternative method; Method comparison; Mycoplasma detection; Reference material

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