Culture Collections

NCTC: Public Engagement in 2016

"I am very lucky to work for NCTC - not only because I work with some extraordinary and historical bacteria on a daily basis, but I get the opportunity to share my passion for microbiology with members of the public and potential future scientists."

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FBS Screening at ECACC

ECACC offers several thousand cell lines to researchers; the majority of these require serum for growth, which presents the problem of deciding on a suitable supply. Many laboratories batch test sera by setting up multiple cultures, and then performing cell counts at fixed time points. This is time consuming and requires  duplicate counts at every time point to provide sufficient accuracy. At ECACC we have developed an automated method using an IncuCyte live cells analysis system.

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NCPF in Research: Cyst associated with Medicopsis species

Phaeohyphomycosis is the term given to deep tissue infections caused by melanised fungi.Typically these infections are caused by fungal species such as Exophiala, Alternaria, Cladophialophora, Phialophora or Curvularia/Bipolaris species; however, other species, including Medicopsis species, have been implicated. This case study reports the occurrence of an infection of the hand linked to an intravenus cannula site.

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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.

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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.


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