Culture Collections

Fast-track cell culture training

Busy researchers who use cells in their work now have an alternative to ECACC’s comprehensive Fundamentals of Cell Culture Course.  With its focus on ensuring scientific reproducibility through standardised cell culture, it is delivered at CATIM’s facility in Bristol through a mix of lectures and practical sessions.  It is primarily aimed at academics who may not have the time or budget for the four-day course.

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World War I soldier helps in fight against dysentery

A National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) bacterial strain of Shigella flexneri isolated from a WWI soldier is helping researchers to tackle dysentery, a disease that kills hundreds of thousands of children under five each year in developing nations. Teams from PHE’s Culture Collections and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have collaborated to unlock the genetic code and history of this bacterium.  The genome sequence provides insights into the development of antibiotic resistance.

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Supporting genetic research for 30 years

A diverse range of studies into the genetic basis of conditions affecting human health such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, motor neurone disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease have benefited from PHE’s European Collection of Cell Cultures (ECACC) genetic support services over the last 30 years.  Genetic research groups continue to submit thousands of blood samples to our scientists to process the blood and generate cell lines ensuring a permanent, expandable and renewable source of the donor’s genetic material.

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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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