Natural Sciences
Life Sciences
Scientific Computing
Life Science

Dr. Wilhelm Dirks, Forschung - Menschliche und Tierische Zelllinien, Leibniz Institut DSMZ - Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH, Braunschweig

DKFZ, TP3, Buchleither seminar room, Im Neuenheimer Feld 580

DKFZ Seminar, GPCF TechTalk

Contamination control is a main issue to assure reliable data and biological products obtained from human and animal cell cultures. This includes cell line cross-contamination (CC) as well as infections with bacteria or viruses. PCR based assays are the methods of choice to detect or – similarly important – to document exclusion of such contaminations. Short tandem repeat (STR) typing is applied to authenticate human cell lines on the basis of a comprehensive STR database available online (intra-species CC), while DNA Barcoding is able to uncover mixtures of different animal cell lines (inter-species CC). Concerning microbiological contamination, mycoplasmas represent the most challenging organisms in cell culture technology due to their high prevalence and their concealment in cell cultures. However, thanks to well established detection methods and the availability of antibiotics to combat the bacteria this problem is manageable without losing the cell culture. On the other hand, viral infections are usually cell type specific and not accessible to general detection methods not to mention cell preventing elimination procedures. Nevertheless, viral contaminations have to be considered for risk assessment, particularly when bioactive substances are produced by cell cultures. In future, progress in next generation sequencing techniques could enable detection of contaminations as described with detailed information of contaminating material.

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