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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

An ultramicrochemical test for mycoplasmal contamination of cultured cells.

A sensitive ultramicrochemical enzyme test for mycoplasmal contamination of cultured cells, based on the determination of the activity of adenosine phosphorylase, is described. The test was performed by assaying the enzymatic conversion of [8-14C]adenine and ribose-1-phosphate to [8-14C]adenosine by incubating a plastic leaflet carrying a counted number of cells (1 to 10). These leaflets were isolated from the bottom of the same plastic film dish in which the cells were cultured for experimental or diagnostic purposes, e.g. prenatal diagnosis or inborn errors of metabolism. The present test should be several 1000-fold more sensitive than the originally reported enzymatic method because (a) the adenosine-phosphorylase reaction is measured in the nucleoside forming direction which is by far the most active; and (b) the assay is performed with the cells and not with the culture medium. The latter is of special importance for the detection of those low-grade contamination in which most of the mycoplasma particles are attached to cell membranes.[1]


  1. An ultramicrochemical test for mycoplasmal contamination of cultured cells. Uitendaal, M.P., DeBruyn, C.H., Hatanaka, M., Hösli, P. In vitro. (1979) [Pubmed]
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