Culture Collections

Antibiotic resistance - a significant challenge to public health microbiology

Read our ResearchGate post on how NCTC bacterial strains can be used to better understand antibiotic resistance and enhance antibiotic research.

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Usutu virus: A new addition to the NCPV catalogue

Usutu is an old world flavivirus of increasing notoriety. The virus was first isolated in South Africa in 1959 and was named after the Usutu River in Swaziland. The typical Usutu life cycle involves both mosquitos and birds, and infection within mammals remains uncommon.

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Culture Collections Nucleic Acids

Nucleic acids (genomic DNA, RNA and cDNA) are used increasingly in research and clinical diagnostic settings. The Culture Collections team offers a wide range of nucleic acid products and services to support researchers and the biomedical community. 

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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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ECACC ICON Small size

Cell lines

The European Collection of Authenticated Cell Cultures (ECACC) maintains and supplies cell lines and their derivatives such as DNA, RNA and cDNA.



NCTC ICON small size


The National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) maintains and supplies over 5,000 bacteria and mycoplasma strains.



NCPV ICON small size


The National Collection of Pathogenic Viruses (NCPV) maintains and supplies over 700 viruses and viral nucleic acid.



NCPF ICON small size


The National Collection of Pathogenic Fungi (NCPF) maintains and supplies over 4000 fungal strains.


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