Culture Collections


The measles virus is highly contagious and infects millions of individuals worldwide, causing serious disease in over 10 million children and accounts for about 120,000 deaths each year.

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NCTC 10455 – a reference control for a bla-FRI variant

Healthcare settings are responding to the emergence and spread of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) by introducing routine rectal screening for those patients at risk of CPE carriage.

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Applying good cell culture practice to novel systems

The primary goals of good cell culture practice are to prevent cell-line misidentification, contamination with microorganisms, and to maintain the genetic and phenotypic stability of cell lines. 

The emergence of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), organoids and complex 3D cell culture offer huge potential for increasingly physiologically relevant in vitro models but also offer a novel set of challenges for the implementation of good cell culture practice.

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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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