This is a pre production server

Culture Collections

Over 1500 bacterial isolates sequenced in the NCTC 3000 project

Over 1500 bacterial isolates sequenced in the NCTC 3000 project HOMEPAGE


In a bid to improve public health research and clinical diagnostics, over 1500 bacterial isolates have been sequenced as part of the NCTC 3000 project. Run in conjunction with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Pacific Bioscience (Pac Bio), the project aims to generate reference genomes for 3000 NCTC bacteria. It is hoped that the data will be used to inform and direct research, and to advance clinical diagnostics.

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has generated Pac Bio sequencing data for isolates from over 280 species; links to assembled and annotated genomes are available on the NCTC website and more will added as they become available.

NCTC cultures include strains from clinical bacterial infections isolated between the end of the 19th century and the present day. Comparison of historical and modern strains can be carried out to map microbial biodiversity. Combining reference genomes with historical and biological information will increase knowledge about the epidemiology, virulence and pathogenicity of the organism along with prevention and treatment of infectious disease.

Examples of how these genomes may be used to improve public health interventions include:

  • supporting Salmonella typing in PHE’s Salmonella Reference Laboratory
  • supporting bacterial evolution studies– e.g. of antimicrobial resistance
  • template for studying bacterial proteins – understanding virulence factors such as toxins (whooping cough, tetanus, food poisoning bacteria)
  • identifying targets for developing new antibiotics and vaccines
  • understanding the relatedness of different bacteria to each other (phylogeny)
  • references for comparing new sequencing technology


A unique website for the clinical and research microbiology community is currently under development which will bring together the complete strain information of Type and reference bacteria and viruses of global public health importance. It will also include integrated web links directing users to strain-specific information held at external websites (e.g. journal papers in PubMed). To keep up to date with the development of the eResource follow us on Twitter.

Follow our bacterial sequencing project @NCTC_3000


Related Links


Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Back to top
Copyright © Public Health England.

Please confirm your country of origin from the list below.

This is a pre production server