Culture Collections

Herpes simplex virus type 1 panel

A team at the National Reference Laboratory at Public Health England isolated a series of HSV-1 viruses from immunocompromised patients undergoing antiviral therapy, and phenotyped them for antiviral susceptibility.

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Dr. Muriel Robertson FRS (1883-1973) for the new £50 design

The National Collection of Type Cultures has nominated Dr. Muriel Robertson to feature on the Bank of England’s £50 note.

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NCTC welcomes Anna Dumitriu as artist in residence

Pioneering BioArtist Anna Dumitriu has joined NCTC as artist in residence and will be exploring the extensive collection to develop artworks inspired by and incorporating NCTCs historic microbes. Anna is internationally renowned for her artwork that brings together history, biology and cutting edge new technologies. These works will be exhibited to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the collection in 2020.

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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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