Culture Collections

NCTC in the media: Scientists map genetic codes of 3000 dangerous bacteria

Professor Julian Parkhill’s group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute (WSI) and Pacific Biosciences featured together with the NCTC team in multiple media articles in June 2018 after we reached the important milestone of having sequenced DNA from 3000 NCTC bacteria.

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Research in focus: Hyper virulent Klebsiella pneumoniae

Hyper virulent Klebsiella pneumoniae is an emergent pathogen requiring harmonised surveillance between clinical microbiology laboratories. Further study into its epidemiology and its ability to acquire and retain antimicrobial resistance characteristics is of significant importance.

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Buffalo Pox

In 2005, pustular lesions were noticed on the foot of a burns patient in Karachi, Pakistan. Similar lesions subsequently appeared on at least 19 other patients in the city’s burns units. As part of the investigation into the infection, biopsies were sent to Public Health England Porton for specialist testing.

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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.



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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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