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).

Entries from Table 1 are also hosted on the NCBI BioSample database.
A link to the data can be found on the BioSample home page here.

  • 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.