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Cytotechnology. 2006 June; 51(2): 45–50.
Published online 2006 August 3. doi:  10.1007/s10616-006-9013-8
PMCID: PMC3449683

Identity tests: determination of cell line cross-contamination


Cell line cross-contamination is a phenomenon that arises as a result of the continuous cell line culture. It has been estimated that around 20% of the cell lines are misidentified, therefore it is necessary to carry out quality control tests for the detection of this issue. Since cell line cross-contamination discovery, different methods have been applied, such as isoenzyme analysis for inter-species cross-contamination; HLA typing, and DNA fingerprinting using short tandem repeat and a variable number of tandem repeat for intra-species cross-contamination. The cell banks in this sense represent the organizations responsible for guaranteeing the authenticity of cell lines for future research and clinical uses.

Keywords: Cell lines, Cross-contamination, Fingerprinting, Isoenzyme analysis, Short tandem repeat, Variable number tandem repeat


We thank Ms. Angela Barnie for checking the use of English in the manuscript.


Amplified fragment length polymorphism
Master cell bank
Short tandem repeat
Sequence based typing
Sequence specific oligonucleotide
Sequence specific oligonucleotide probe
Variable number tandem repeat
Working cell bank


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