We made a record number of bacterial strains available from the NCTC online catalogue in 2016. In total 98 new strains from 20 families were added to the collection, a quarter of which were Type strains. 10 of the Type strains were from the Staphylococcaceae family and were deposited on request by DSMZ, enhancing the number of NCTC’s Type strains for this family. The strains were isolated from around Europe, from a diverse range of foods and clinical samples.
23 of the new strains have whole genome sequencing (WGS) data from the NCTC 3000 project which is being undertaken in partnership with the Sanger Institute and PacBio; many more are currently being analysed and the data will be available later this year. Five of the sequenced strains were Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates associated with hospital waters. Multiple isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa were collected from hospitals in the UK between 2010 and 2012. These isolates are particularly important when considering patients with cystic fibrosis who are particularly at risk and the multiple outbreaks that have been associated with water in neonatal units. WGS of NCTC strains which are held in other culture collections is also being carried out. This work to compare equivalent strains around the globe will continue in 2017.
Many of the new strains that we made available in 2016 are also held within other culture collections. However, a significant number, including Escherichia coli O104 (NCTC 13562), are unique to NCTC. This particular strain of E. coli was associated with an outbreak of STEC/VTEC in Germany in 2011 and was the largest recorded outbreak of its kind. This strain, due to its toxicity, is classified as a hazard group 3 organism.
Most of the strains are clinical isolates, or are bacteria with the capacity to cause human illness that were isolated from the environmental, food or water samples. Many strains contain information on antimicrobial resistance and susceptibilities.
Image: Neisseria gonorrhoeae
14 strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae were deposited with NCTC to assist laboratories in interpreting diagnostic tests and to improve surveillance. The strains are all well characterised and constitute a WHO panel containing examples of sensitive and resistant phenotypes to antimicrobials. Information on antimicrobial resistance mechanisms is also provided for some strains. NCTC 13577 Staphylococcus aureus, for example, displays high level mupirocin resistance and the presence of mupA has been confirmed by PCR. More isolates with identified antimicrobial resistance mechanisms will be added in 2017.
Finally, 13 strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae from the Murray collection were made available as freeze-dried cultures. These strains were originally isolated in the ‘pre-antibiotic era’ and can be used in studies to map pathogen evolution, particularly in relation to antimicrobial resistance. More Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates will be included over the coming months.
All 98 strains are listed on the new bacterial strains page on the website and more will be added as they become available. If you have isolated a new or interesting strain and would like to deposit with us, have a look at our deposit strains with NCTC page and complete the NCTC deposit form.
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