Cell lines are often misidentified and cross-contaminated

The Authentication of cell lines used in scientific research is of obvious importance.

Cross-contamination and misidentification of mammalian cell cultures is widespread - an estimated 15–20% of the cells used in medical research are affected [1].

However, surveys have shown that less than half of researchers regularly verify the identities of their cell lines.
In addition to wasted time and money, inconsistent or non-reproducible findings, quality decrease and retraction of publications, a potential for health consequences also exists in misidentified cell lines.

Cell lines from major repositories such as American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) or European Collection of Cell Cultures (ECACC) are now authenticated on distribution.

Recently, high-impact journals like Clinical Cancer Research or Nature require information on the authentication of any cell line used in a study prior to reviewing a submitted paper.

In addition, The National Institute of Health, U.S.A., issued a notice discussing the need for cell authentication for studies proposed in grant applications implying that cell line authentication will become a prerequisite for funding in the future.  




 [1]  Science 16 February 2007: Vol. 315 no. 5814 pp. 928-931