Database of Cross-contaminated or Misidentified Cell Lines

This database lists cell lines that are currently known to be cross-contaminated or misidentified.  The database was originally developed by Amanda Capes-Davis and Ian Freshney, and published in 2010.  It is now curated by the International Cell Line Authentication Committee.

Download the latest version here (version 7.2, released 10 October 2014).

  • The database currently lists 475 cell lines.
  • 438 cell lines are misidentified with no known authentic stock, and are listed in Table 1.
  • 37 cell lines were initially thought to be misidentified but authentic stock has since been found.  These 37 cell lines are listed separately in Table 2.
  • Cell lines that legitimately come from the same donor are excluded from the database – for example, if one cell line is known to be derived from another.
  • 44 cell lines do not correspond to the original donor, but the contaminant is unknown.  43 cell lines come from a different species.
  • 138 different contaminants are listed.  The commonest is HeLa, with 113 entries (24%).

To cite the database or learn more, please refer to:

Capes-Davis A, Theodosopoulos G, Atkin I, Drexler HG, Kohara A, Macleod RA, Masters JR, Nakamura Y, Reid YA, Reddel RR, Freshney RI (2010) Check your cultures! A list of cross-contaminated or misidentified cell lines.  Int J Cancer 127: 1-8. PMID: 20143388.

You might also like to read more about cross-contaminated or misidentified cell lines.  See our reference page with reviews on this topic.