Which Mycoplasma Species Are Found in Which Raw Material Sources and What Are the Sources of Contamination

Mycoplasma contamination


Mycoplasmas are the smallest bacteria without cell walls that can be found in various environments. They are known for their ability to cause contamination in raw material sources. In this article, we will address the presence of different Mycoplasma species in various raw material sources and identify potential sources of contamination.

Cell Culture Media

Cell culture media are essential components in biotechnological research and production. Unfortunately, they can also harbor Mycoplasmas. One of the most common Mycoplasma species found in cell culture media is Mycoplasma hyorhinis. This species has been detected in various cell lines, including human, animal, and insect cells. Contamination with Mycoplasma hyorhinis can significantly disrupt cell cultures, as it infects the cells and impairs their functions. Regular monitoring of cell culture media for Mycoplasma contamination is crucial to ensure the quality of cell cultures.

Animal Tissues

Animal tissues are frequently used in biomedical research and pharmaceutical production. Unfortunately, Mycoplasmas can also be present in these tissues. Common Mycoplasma species found in animal tissues include Acholeplasma laidlawii and Mycoplasma argininii. These species can cause various diseases in cattle, including respiratory diseases and mastitis. When using animal tissues in research or production, it is important to ensure that they are free from Mycoplasma contamination to ensure the accuracy of results and product safety.

Plant Tissues

Plant tissues can also harbor Mycoplasmas. One well-known Mycoplasma species found in plants is Spiroplasma citrii. This species can occur in various plant species and cause diseases such as yellowing diseases. In agricultural production, Mycoplasma infections can lead to significant crop losses. Therefore, it is important to regularly test plant tissues for Mycoplasma contamination, especially when used for seed production or cultivation of crops. The sources of Mycoplasma contamination in plant tissues can be diverse, including direct contact with infected plants through transmission by insects carrying Mycoplasmas or contact with contaminated tools during gardening or agricultural practices.


Bioreactors are used in the biotechnological industry for the production of drugs, enzymes, and other products. Unfortunately, Mycoplasmas can also occur as contaminants in bioreactors. One common Mycoplasma species found in bioreactors is Mycoplasma fermentans. This species can impair the productivity of biotechnological processes and lead to contamination of the final products. The main source of contamination in bioreactors is often the cell lines, cultures, and, of course, the operator. While protection against operator-induced contamination relies on adherence to hygiene protocols, thorough testing of the cell lines used for Mycoplasma contamination should be part of the regular production routine to ensure the purity and efficacy of the manufactured products.


Mycoplasmas are widespread contaminants in various raw material sources, including cell culture media, animal and plant tissues, and bioreactors. Mycoplasma species such as Mycoplasma hyorhinis, Mycoplasma bovis, Mycoplasma laidlawii, and Mycoplasma fermentans can have significant impacts on cell cultures, animal and plant health, as well as biotechnological processes. To prevent contamination, regular monitoring for Mycoplasmas and implementing appropriate prevention and control measures is essential. Ensuring the purity and quality of raw material sources is crucial for the accuracy of scientific studies, product safety, and the efficiency of biotechnological processes.

Links and Resources for “Which Mycoplasma Species Are Found in Which Raw Material Sources and What Are the Sources of Contamination”

Detection of mycoplasma contamination in cell cultures

Mycoplasma contamination of cell cultures: Incidence, sources, effects, detection, elimination, prevention

Mycoplasma bovis infections in cattle

Mycoplasmas in plants and insects

Mycoplasma contamination in biopharmaceutical manufacturing

Detection, control and elimination of mycoplasma contamination in bioreactor cultures

Testing at Minerva Analytix GmbH

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