Culture Collections

Five NCTC strains used in proficiency testing with aberrant characteristics

Five strains used in FEPTU EQAs have been added to the NCTC collection due to their unique characteristics. Knowledge of these unique properties is vital during testing within EQA schemes to avoid reporting of incorrect results.

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Bacteriophage Collection from NCTC

Bacteriophages have been attracting increasing levels of attention from both scientists and the mainstream media in recent years. The NCTC bacteriophage collection contains over 100 Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Campylobacter bacteriophages. Download our online resources created in collaboration with ID Hub to find out more.

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The UKBRCN – Website Launch

Bringing together the UK’s expert centres in biological resource curation

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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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Cell lines

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



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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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