Culture Collections

Sticky issues with 293 cells

Understanding the biology and limitations of 293, a widely used and genetically unstable cell line, is key to its successful cell culture.

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iPSCs: a tool to investigate SARS-CoV-2

Since the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic began, many efforts have been made to investigate the biology of the virus and its interaction with the host.

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ACE2 and SARS-CoV2

In the winter of 2019, Chinese authorities reported a number of human pneumonia cases in Wuhan City, China. This disease showed symptoms such as fever and dyspnea, as well as a variation of other symptoms. Whole-genome sequencing results showed that the causative agent was a novel coronavirus, now known as SARS-CoV-2.

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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 9001:2015.

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.



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



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


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