Culture Collections

NCTC control strain set

Culture Collections provide a cost effective means for clinical microbiology laboratories to update their stock cultures of the 17 NCTC bacterial strains needed for the tests described in the UK Standards for Microbiological Investigations (SMIs) Test Procedures (TPs).

Read More

Zika virus - sharing data in public health emergencies

Since 2015, an outbreak of Zika virus infection has been occurring in the Caribbean, Central and South America. As surveillance for Zika virus infection improves, further cases are expected to be reported in these regions and previously unaffected countries, territories and areas. Read more about Zika virus and the WHO 'Zika Open' an access area online for researchers to share data and publications.

Read More

Are you ready for ISO 15819:2012?

Medical laboratories are currently in a period of transition. Having previously been accredited to CPA (Clinical Pathology Accreditation) standards, most are now working towards UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation) accreditation to the internationally recognised international standard ISO 15189:2012 - Medical laboratories - Requirements for quality and competence. The standard includes specific requirements regarding quality control materials.

Read More

Why Choose Us?

Public Health England (PHE) is the custodian of four unique collections that consist of expertly preserved, authenticated cell lines and microbial strains of known provenance for use in medical science and laboratory healthcare.

All the collections are developed, managed and maintained by highly trained, dedicated staff who work in accordance with internationally recognised quality standards including certification to ISO 9001:2008.

Cultures from the collections are used by scientists who need to reassure themselves and others that the materials they are using are authentic, so the conclusions to their studies are valid and relevant. This is particularly important where research may lead to peer-reviewed publications, for example, in drug discovery and vaccine efficacy studies. Authenticated reference strains are also of paramount importance for clinical diagnostic testing, food, water and environmental microbiology testing and validation studies.

Sign up for our latest news >



Cell lines

The European Collection of Authenticated Cell Cultures (ECACC) maintains and supplies over 40,000 cell lines and their derivatives such as DNA, RNA and cDNA.





The National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) maintains and supplies over 5000 bacteria and mycoplasma strains.





The National Collection of Pathogenic Viruses (NCPV) maintains and supplies over 700 viruses and viral nucleic acid.





The National Collection of Pathogenic Fungi (NCPF) maintains and supplies over 4000 fungal strains.


Back to top
Copyright © Public Health England.

Please confirm your country of origin from the list below.