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Fungus contamination in the CO2 incubator!!! - (Jul/28/2005 )

Last week I found that my plates had been contaminated with fungus inside the CO2 incubator mad.gif My cells were immediately rendered useless, so i bleached and got rid of them. I cleaned the inside of the incubator with ethanol and even changed the water in the pan (i also added 150microliters of roccal). My cells are ok for now, but this type of thing has been going on at least once a month for the past three months...keep in mind that we have had this incubator for about 3 years and we even got a new one and the same thing happened to it. I have taken all the precautionary measures to minimize contamination (spraying ethanol on my gloves before opening the incubator, not opening it all the way, keep it open as short of time as possible). I have not been the only one keeping cells in the incubator, but i have been reassured that the proper procedures have been met.

Any ideas as to what might be causing this??



Why dont you autoclave the racks in the incubator and clean incubator with first with detergent and then wipe with distilled water and finally wipe with alcohol.

I feel there might be too much moisture in the incubator. check temperature and CO2 content. sometimes the sensor may read different try to counter check it with someexternal devices.

good luck!!


Do you have in built decontamination procedure for CO2 incubator? You could try this out.

An incubator with automated decontamination facility aids in bringing temp to 95 C inside the incubator.

Autoclaving racks will also ensure decontamination.

Hope it helps!!!


you can first incrimate a human contamination. That's why you'll need to celan your incubator well and autoclave what can be autoclaved. Btw, our incubators can be heated up to 95°. If you do so, i assume that would kill fungi.
But you can also check the CO2 system and change the tube between bottle of CO2 and incubator. Or treat it with 70° ethanol for 30'.


Haven't tried decontamination procedure, thanks for letting me know about it...I'll check if i can do it, i have cells growing right now, and i have been splitting and freezing as many samples as i can. Hopefully i doesn't happen again, i'll be monitoring who uses the incubator the most but there's always room for human error...Thanks for the help guys, i'll keep you posted as to the happenings with the incubator...