Letter | Published:

Elimination of mycoplasmas from cell cultures with sodium polyanethol sulphonate


MYCOPLASMAS are common contaminants of cell cultures, though rarely of primary cultures1–3. The organisms can have a variety of effects on cells in cultures5. They can severely interfere with the metabolism of the cells. Depletion of the culture medium content of arginine causing chromosomal changes and morphological alteration of the cells have been observed, although cytopathogenic changes similar to those caused by viruses are less common. The use of cell cultures contaminated with mycoplasmas may supress the yield of viruses, but occasionally enhance it. Since some species of Mycoplasma may haemadsorb and haemagglutinate, the presence of such organisms in cell cultures may be mistaken for that of certain viruses.

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