Culture Collections

Project update for NCTC 3000 and NCPV 500

The NCTC 3000 project is a Wellcome Trust funded public engagement project awarded jointly to PHE Culture Collections and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI). This grant will produce 3000 high quality reference genomes from type and reference strains within the National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) and 500 viral reference genomes from the National Collection of Pathogenic Viruses (NCPV).

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New National Institute of Health guidelines

New guidelines for grant funding, from the National Institute of Health (NIH), intended to enhance the reproducibility of research, came into effect in January 2016.  Scientific researchers applying for grants from the NIH must now include a file with their application that must describe the methods that will be used in the proposed study, to ensure the identity and validity of key biological and chemical resources; this includes cell lines.  Any applications not meeting these new requirements will be withdrawn from the grant application process.

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Zika virus cultures and RNA available for research and development

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that Zika virus, a mosquito-borne arbovirus that can infect humans, may spread across the Americas. More effective diagnostic tests are needed in order to respond effectively and more research studies are also needed to investigate the potential link between microcephaly and Zika virus. Public Health England’s National Collection of Pathogenic Viruses (NCPV) supplies authenticated Zika virus cultures and RNA for use in research and development projects.

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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 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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