NCTC Centenary 2020: 100 years collaborating with the bacteriology community

The National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) is one of the longest established collections of microorganisms in the world; its cultures reflect the history of clinical bacterial infections from the end of the 19th century to the present day. Set up in 1920 to “provide a trustworthy source of authentic bacteria for use in scientific studies”, the remit for NCTC has remained essentially unchanged.

There are currently around 6000 type and reference strains in the collection, representing over 1000 different bacterial species, with deposits coming from various sources including individual collections, the research community, Public Health England (PHE) reference laboratories, and from national collections from around the world.

In 2020, NCTC celebrates 100 years of collaborating with bacteriologists from around the globe. To start the celebrations, NCTC will be holding a one-day symposium on 2 March 2020 to commemorate the history of the collection, its curators and depositors, and to highlight the varied uses of NCTC strains and strain genome data. The symposium, held at PHE, Colindale, London, will provide a forum for scientists to discover the historical importance of NCTC as a biological resource centre and its current role supporting and promoting global health.

Registration for this event is now open ( For more information on this, and all NCTC centenary events throughout 2020, sign-up to receive NCTC newsletters, news and events emails and follow NCTC on Twitter @NCTC_3000