AAT Bioquest

Can antibiotics be used in cell culture?

Posted July 22, 2020


Yes. Antibiotics can be used in cell cultures to prevent bacterial infection. However, antibiotics should never be used routinely, because they can impair cell growth and differentiation. Besides, the continuous use of antibiotics can encourage the development of antibiotic-resistant strains and allow low-level contamination to persist. Once the antibiotic is removed from the media, a full-scale contamination may be developed. Therefore, antibiotics should only be used as a last resort and only for short-term applications, which should be removed from the culture as soon as possible.

Additional resources

Cell Cycle and Proliferation

Assay development services

Berg, J. M., Tymoczko, J. L., & Stryer, L. (2008). Biochemistry (Loose-Leaf). Macmillan.

Yao, T., & Asayama, Y. (2017). Animal?cell culture media: History, characteristics, and current issues. Reproductive medicine and biology, 16(2), 99-117.

Butler, M. (2004). Animal cell culture and technology. Taylor & Francis.