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Culture Collections

How to submit samples for mycoplasma and sterility testing

Any biological material can be Mycoplasma and/or sterility tested if it is cell culture compatible. Cell cultures can be sent either growing or as frozen ampoules.

Please see the following steps on how to submit samples for testing:

  1. Please complete the Sample Submission form (opens in new window) and the Biohazard Risk Assessment form (opens in new window) and send both forms to us prior to arranging shipment of samples. A Biohazard Risk Assessment form must be completed before any samples can be accepted for testing.
  2. Once the forms have been received, reviewed and accepted by ECACC, you will be issued with a reference number that will need to be quoted in all future correspondence (and on your samples). A written Purchase Order number is also required before any sample can be processed. It is only then that can ECACC accept your sample.


If Sending Growing Cultures:

i) Growing cultures should have been passaged twice in the absence of antibiotics. Growing cultures should have been growing for three days since the last medium change. Notification of the time of the last medium change must be made so that the minimum growth time in the absence of antibiotics can be completed if necessary at ECACC.

ii) Growing Cultures should be sent in flasks topped up with medium. The flask cap should be of the non-vented variety and wrapped e.g. in parafilm, to prevent leakage.


If Sending Frozen Cultures:

i) A handling fee will be charged to cover costs of establishing the cell lines in culture.
ii) Details of the cell line growth media and culture conditions must be supplied

Flasks and ampoules should be adequately packed and transported according to UN 602 regulations. Approved UN 602 packaging may be obtained from several suppliers, the details of which are available from any Royal Mail Sales Centre.

If you use a courier service to ship your samples, please contact the company involved for advice on their own approved packaging.


Parcels should be addressed to:

QC Testing Department
Culture Collections
Public Health England


Testing is initiated on Tuesdays and Fridays. Notification of dispatch of samples to ECACC is very much appreciated.



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