Bacteriophages have been attracting increasing levels of attention from both scientists and the mainstream media in recent years. This is due to their potential role in the treatment of bacterial infections (phage therapy). Phage therapy is not a new phenomenon; it was first described over 100 years ago, when its applications were used widely, particularly in Eastern Europe. The rise of antimicrobial resistance combined with several high-profile cases of successful phage therapy, when all other treatment options had been exhausted, has once again re-engaged interest in this approach.
As the application of phages for potential solutions to bacterial problems grows, having a repository from which scientists can both source and deposit bacteriophages is essential. The National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) is the world’s oldest bacterial strain collection and has recently established a bacteriophage repository, which aims to provide a trustworthy source of authenticated phages.
In collaboration with ID Hub, NCTC have a number of online bacteriophage resources about the NCTC phage collection which include an infographic and video, and a podcast with NCTC Curator, Dr Sarah Alexander, and Molecular Microbiologist Juandem Agendia all of which are available through an eBook.
The collection contains over 100 Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Campylobacter bacteriophages which were deposited between 1950 and 1992, primarily for their value in bacterial typing. Recently, these have been characterised and re-authenticated in order to make them accessible to scientists worldwide.
The NCTC bacteriophage collection is a dynamic collection, representing a repository into which microbiologists can also deposit phages, which in turn will support accessibility and reproducibility in science.
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