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Animals, Vegetables, Minerals and NCTC bacteria

A first glance through the 2017 publications citing NCTC bacteria reveals a fascinating insight into the reference strains’ continued importance in emerging microbial developments. Recent focus on microbiomes has changed ideas about the role of microorganisms in human and animal health and disease, and antimicrobial resistance remains a global challenge.

A UK study used data from multiple NCTC control strains to compare molecular methods for investigating the human skin microbiome to determine its role in eczema and psoriasis1. Further afield, a group in Japan used an NCTC reference strain of Chromobacterium violaceum to help establish the diversity of culturable bacterial communities in the intestinal tracts of goldfish (Carassius auratus), a species of significant economic importance2.

The hunt for new antimicrobial products continues at pace with animal, plant and microbial extracts being evaluated for their potential for pharmaceutical use. Scientists in Serbia assessed the antimicrobial potential of the pygidial gland secretions of adult Calosoma sycophanta beetles (the forest caterpillar hunter) against human pathogens by using NCTC 7973, Listeria monocytogenes, as a reference strain3. Many plants indigenous to Fiji contain essential oils, and NCTC 9394 was one of several control strains used to test extracted plant oils for antibacterial properties4. In a laboratory in Egypt, silver nanoparticles synthesised using onion extract were tested for antimicrobial activity against three NCTC strains5.

Food safety remains a priority and an analysis of Lithuanian honeys for the presence of Clostridium botulinum spores used four NCTC C.botulinum control strains6. A coating designed to reduce biofilm formation in the food industry was evaluated with Staphylococcus aureus NCTC 10788 and Escherichia coli NCTC 104187.

These are just a few of more than 100 publications citing NCTC strains in 2017 and we are looking forward to our more in depth end of year review to see where else NCTC strains have been used. If you tell us about your recent publications that cite NCTC strains we may be able to feature them in our forthcoming news items.



  1. Castelino et al. BMC Microbiology (2017) 17:23 DOI 10.1186/s12866-017-0927-4
  2. Sugita, H., Kitao, S., Narisawa, S. et al. Folia Microbiol (2017) 62: 263.
  3. Nenadić, M., Soković, M., Glamočlija, J. et al. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2017) 101: 977.
  4. Maharaj Prayna P. P. , Devi Riteshma Prasad Surendra (2016) Antimicrobial effect of essential oils of some Fijian medicinal plant leaves on pathogenic bacteria. The South Pacific Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences 34, 35-39
  5. Eman Zakaria Gomaa. Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (2017) 15, 49–57
  6. Wojtacka, J., Wysok, B., Kabašinskienė, A., Wiszniewska-Łaszczych, A., Gomółka-Pawlicka, M., Szteyn, J., Malakauskas, M., Migowska-Calik, A. (2017). 'Prevalence of Clostridium botulinum Type A, B, E and F Isolated From Directly Sold Honey in Lithuania', Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology, 19(2), pp. 335-343
  7. Tetlow LA et al. Food and Bioproducts Processing 102 (2017) 332–339


January 2020