10 Quick Tips to Prevent Mycoplasma Contamination

Tip 01 - Always wear PPE (personal protective equipment)

  • Clean lab coats regularly
  • Dedicate lab coats to cell culture
  • Always wear gloves
  • Wear a mask if needed

Tip 02 - Know your cells’ origin

  • Always get cells from a reliable source
  • Mycoplasma survives in liquid nitrogen
  • Quarantine new cells entering the lab

Tip 03 - Practice good sterile technique

  • Watch for drips from pipettes
  • Clean spills immediately
  • Don’t talk over cells

Tip 04 - Keep the lab clean

  • Keep work areas neat and avoid clutter
  • Service equipment regularly
  • Sterilize work environments before, during, and after

Tip 05 - Work with only one cell line

  • Have only one bottle of medium open at a time
  • Have a maximum of 3 to 4 culture dishes in the hood

Tip 06 - Don’t use hood for storage

  • Don’t store extra materials in the hood
  • Don’t let containers or waste pile up and block air flow

Tip 07 - Keep media covered

  • Keep lids on your media and culture dishes
  • Arrange your reagents and cells so that you are not reaching over them
  • Lift lids only when you are using them

Tip 08 - Use antibiotics responsibly

  • Avoid routine or long-term use on cells
  • Mycoplasma contamination often co-occurs with bacterial contamination

Tip 09 - Keep good records

  • Record contamination events
  • Keep a log of new cells entering and leaving lab
  • Track changes in reagent lots

Tip 10 - Screen regularly

  • New cells enter the lab
  • Cells are thawed from liquid nitrogen
  • Suspicious cell cultures
  • Prior to publication
  • Routine monthly monitoring