Culture Collections

The importance of immortalising the bacteriophage

 Microbiologist magazine cover - Sep 2019

Bacteriophages or phages, have been attracting increasing levels of attention from both scientists and the mainstream media in recent years. This is due to their potential role in the treatment of bacterial infections (phage therapy).

Phage therapy is not a new phenomenon; it was first described over 100 years ago, when its applications were used widely, particularly in Eastern Europe. The rise of antimicrobial resistance combined with several high-profile cases of successful phage therapy, when all other treatment options had been exhausted, has once again re-engaged interest in this approach.

As the application of phages for potential solutions to bacterial problems grows, having a repository from which scientists can both source and deposit bacteriophages is essential. The National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) is the world’s oldest bacterial strain collection and has recently established a bacteriophage repository, which aims to provide a trustworthy source of authenticated phages.  The NCTC bacteriophage collection will be dynamic, representing a repository into which microbiologists can deposit phages, which in turn will support accessibility and reproducibility in science.


Read more in the latest edition of The Microbiologist the magazine of the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) 


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September 2019

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