Culture Collections

Microbiology open day for water testing

An open day hosted by PHE’s National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) and Sigma-Aldrich providing an opportunity to discuss key issues in water testing and analysis.  The day will feature presentations on significant water testing topics and provide opportunities for discussions with experts. 

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Validating cell culture workshop

A one day workshop run by the European Collection of Cell Cultures (ECACC), the cell culture experts, to help you put current best practice cell culture at the core of your work. Organised jointly by ECACC, part of the Culture Collections of Public Health England, and Sigma-Aldrich

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How to open and grow freeze-dried NCTC strains

We now have more information to help you open National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) glass ampoules containing freeze-dried (lyophilised) NCTC bacterial strains.  The guidance includes a video and step by step photos. NCTC introduced freeze-drying strains in glass ampoules flamed-sealed under vacuum in the 1930s and the process is still considered to be the most reliable method for preserving and storing bacteria.      

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Why Choose Us?

Public Health England (PHE) operates four unique collections consisting of expertly preserved, authenticated cell lines and microbial strains of known provenance for use in medical science and laboratory healthcare.

Cultures from the PHE 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.


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Cell lines

The European Collection of Cell Cultures (ECACC) maintains and supplies over 40,000 cell lines and their derivatives such as DNA, RNA and cDNA.





The National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) maintains and supplies over 5000 bacteria and mycoplasma strains.





The National Collection of Pathogenic Viruses (NCPV) maintains and supplies over 700 viruses and viral nucleic acid.





The National Collection of Pathogenic Fungi (NCPF) maintains and supplies over 4000 fungal strains.


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