Labs need to check regularly if their cell cultures are contaminated by mycoplasma. One option is the MycoAlert™ mycoplasma detection kit from Lonza.

Dr Ann-Cathrin Volz Dr Ann-Cathrin Volz (9)

Mycoplasma can influence experimental results obtained for a certain cell line. Therefore, cell culture labs need to check regularly if their cultures are contaminated by mycoplasma species.

MycoAlert™ mycoplasma detection kit

The MycoAlert™ mycoplasma detection kit from Lonza is specific for mycoplasmal enzymes that are not present in eukaryotic cells. After the addition of substrate, a high luminescent signal is created only in viable mycoplasma. Measurements of luminescence are taken before and after the addition of the MycoAlert™ substrate. A ratio is created from these measurements.


Ratio interpretation

  • < 0.9 negative for mycoplasma
  • 0.9 – 1.2 borderline: quarantine cells & retest in 24 h
  • > 1.2 mycoplasma contamination

MycoAlert detection on microplate readers

The BMG LABTECH instruments come with the MARS Data Analysis Software that allows users to do calculations and validations to quickly identify samples that may be contaminated. An example of the detection of the MycoAlert assay on BMG LABTECH plate readers is shown in the application note: Detecting mycoplasma cell culture contamination using the CLARIOstar microplate reader.


MycoAlert is a registered trademark of LONZA

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