Culture Collections

Microbiological testing of hospital water sources

Hospitals must test to ensure that water used in their healthcare facilities is safe to minimise the potential risk of infection in the hospital environment.  The June 2014 edition of The Biomedical Scientist emphasises the support PHE provides for hospital microbiology laboratories such as external quality assessment (EQA) schemes and bacterial reference materials from the National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC).

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New ECACC brochure

Researchers can now read about the products and services of the European Collection of Cell Cultures (ECACC) in one publication.  The ECACC brochure explains how researchers can protect the validity of their work by ensuring they are working with authenticated cell lines. Culture Collections staff can assist when selecting, authenticating and depositing cell lines within the different collections or accessing the services on offer.

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SMI Test Procedures poster

Clinical testing laboratories can now request a poster showing images of the expected reactions for each of the Standards for Microbiology Investigations Test Procedures (TPs) using NCTC cultures.  Download it instantly or request printed copies via an online form.

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Why Choose Us?

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

Cultures from the PHE 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.


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Cell lines

The European Collection of 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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