In Focus: Phages

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What developments have we seen in recent months into research on phage therapies? What are the potential benefits and pitfalls in phage research, and what does the future hold? Find out all this and more in our latest In Focus feature, in which we dive into the world of bacteriophages.

In our latest In Focus feature, produced in association with Culture Collections (London UK), we bring you expert insights into the latest phage research, its challenges and future potential. We will also explore the function of the National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) and the importance of depositing bacteriophages in the NCTC collection to improve accessibility and reproducibility in science.

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The NCTC is the world’s oldest bacterial collection that was specifically established to provide authenticated bacterial strains to scientists globally to support scientific research. In addition to the general catalogue NCTC has a fully curated bacteriophage archive that has not recently been made available to the wider scientific community. The NCTC bacteriophage collection consists of over 100 bacteriophage and their corresponding bacterial hosts which were originally deposited primarily for their value in bacterial typing. The collection consists of freeze-dried bacteriophage from the following hosts: Streptococcus agalactiae, Staphylococcus aureus and Campylobacter.

The NCTC historical bacteriophage collection has been fully reauthenticated using a range of methods including electron microscopy and these phages are now available to scientists via the culture collections website to support scientific research. The NCTC bacteriophage collection is a dynamic repository and microbiologists can deposit their phage’s into NCTC free of charge. This collection aims to support accessibility and reproducibility in science as well preserving the phages indefinitely which will ensure they are available to the next generation of scientists.

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