Culture Collections

The Princess Royal visits NCTC to mark centenary year

In November, the UK Health Security Agency, Colindale was extremely privileged to host a visit from Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal. The visit was to celebrate the centenary of the National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC).

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ECCO XXXIX. Virtual Meeting presentations

In September 2021 NCTC hosted the 39th Annual Meeting of the European Culture Collections’ Organisation (ECCO). Presentations from the day are now available for viewing online.

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Latest news from Anna Dumitriu, NCTC Artist in Residence

Following her talk at the ECCO XXXIX. event on her role as NCTC Artist in Residence, Anna Dumitriu has been working on exciting new projects such as the creation of new pieces using selected DNA from the NCTC 3000 project.  

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Why Choose Us?

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) 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 9001:2015.

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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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 6,000 bacteria and mycoplasma strains.



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The National Collection of Pathogenic Viruses (NCPV) maintains and supplies over 400 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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