Detection of Mycoplasma Contamination of Cell Cultures by Electron Microscopy

  • David M. Phillips
Part of the Cellular Senescence and Somatic Cell Genetics book series (CSSCG, volume 3)


Since mycoplasma infections of cell cultures are a frequent and serious problem, it behooves the cell culturist to find reliable and reasonably easy methods for the detection of mycoplasma contamination. In this chapter we will discuss the electron microscope as a tool for the detection of mycoplasma infections of cultured cells. We will describe how mycoplasma infections appear in the scanning and transmission electron microscope and will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of electron microscopy in terms of reliability, sensitivity and practicality. The reader is referred to other chapters of this book for thorough discussions of various methods of detection and for discussions of the particular ways which mycoplasma alter the physiology, chemistry and morphology of cell cultures. It is often necessary to employ more than one technique to detect mycoplasma or to be reasonably certain that a culture is mycoplasma free. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Different techniques for detecting mycoplasma, therefore, often complement each other.


Transmission Microscopy Mycoplasma Contamination Mycoplasma Infection Infect Cell Culture Coated Coverslip 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Phillips
    • 1
  1. 1.The Population CouncilRockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA

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