The National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) supplies reference bacterial cultures of medical, scientific and veterinary importance world-wide to support academic, health, food and veterinary institutions. Founded in 1920, NCTC is the longest-established collection in the world offering a bacterial culture supply service. It is recognised internationally, serving as a European Resource Centre for Plasmids and a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Microbial Resource Centre (MIRCEN).
The collection (which is certified to BS EN ISO 9001:2008) comprises over 5,000 bacterial cultures, together with over 100 mycoplasmas.
In addition to the supply of bacterial cultures, NCTC also provides a range of associated services, which include freeze-drying of customers'; own strains, International Depository Authority (IDA) patent depository for bacterial cultures, production of cultures and samples for use in EQA schemes and the provision of cultures in LENTICULE disc format.
NCTC is one of the four culture collections that constitute the Culture Collections of Public Health England. Situated at the Public Health England's Centre for Infections at Colindale (formerly Central Public Health Laboratory), NCTC has ready access to the wide-ranging expertise of an internationally-renowned body of specialists in clinical and environmental microbiology. These experts check each new batch produced by NCTC, ensuring quality control second to none.