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 hosted on the NCBI BioSample database.  A link to the data can be found on the BioSample home page here.

The data can also be made available in Excel or tab delimited text formats. Please Contact Us to request a copy. All formats are subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use below.

Terms and Conditions of Use

  • The database is provided for research and educational use, not for commercial use. Any commercial use must be approved by ICLAC.
  • The latest version of the database is available at this page ( Researchers are advised to always use the ICLAC website to download the database, ensuring that they view the current and correct version.
  • ICLAC takes no responsibility for any errors or omissions in the text version of the database due to modifications by the end user. Researchers are advised not to modify the entries listed, but to contact ICLAC to request changes using the Contact Us page.
  • Journals, funding bodies and other organisations are welcome to link to the database. Organisations are advised to link to this page (, allowing users to access the latest version of the database.

About this Dataset

  • 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.