A recent Lancet Infectious Diseases publication by Guillame Méric and colleagues maps the history of Escherichia coli strain NCTC86. This strain was isolated in 1885 by Theodore Escherich and the article underpins one of the most valuable aspects of NCTC, that NCTC strains can drive understanding of microbial diversity and evolution in infectious diseases.
Photograph of the original record for E. coli NCTC86 in January 1920
It is interesting that the genome of NCTC86 does not appear to contain any known pathogenicity islands, well known virulence or colonisation factors, and invasion genes such as hek, sfaEFA, vpeRABC appear to be absent. The raw and annotated sequence data for NCTC86, delivered as part of the NCTC 3000 project undertaken by NCTC in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Pacific Bioscience, is available online and via the NCTC website.
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