At NCIMB we have extensive experience of providing fast, confidential and accurate identification of bacteria and fungi to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards.
Our microbial ID service supports pharmaceutical, cosmetic and personal care companies in their routine environmental monitoring programmes and we can help problem solve specific contamination issues in manufacturing environments.
We offer our customers:
We offer a responsive service and have introduced a range of sample turnaround times to help our customers prioritise identification of their most important isolates and optimise use of budgets. We can deliver same day and next day results for samples received before 10am, as well as providing three day and ten day services, with options available for reporting.
We undertake rapid genotypic identification of bacterial isolates, including mycoplasma, by sequencing the 16S ribosomal DNA gene with full gene or 500bp options available. This technique can rapidly identify both viable and non-viable organisms, those with complex growth requirements and Gram variable isolates, as well as slow growing and/or non-fermenters.
Sequenced data is examined against the validated MicroSEQ® database in the first instance. When MicroSEQ® doesn’t provide a high enough species level match we can also use the more comprehensive, non-validated, EMBL public database, the client’s own historic data collection and the NCIMB reference collection to match sequences to published data.
As custodians of the UK’s National Collection of Industrial, Food and Marine Bacteria, we have immediate access to this unique source of authentic reference material. We also have access to a number of private collections, ensuring a comprehensive coverage of genera and species.
Customer reports can be tailored to your requirements and include top sequence matches and phylogenetic trees.
NCIMB offers comparison of isolates at strain level. This can be valuable when tracing the source of objectionable organisms in manufacturing environments and comparing them to previous contaminants. It can also be very important with respect to the use of bacteria in patented processes and for the production of probiotic products. We can use two different approaches:
Fungi can cause serious problems for pharmaceutical manufacturers, and species level identification gives valuable information that can be used when investigating excursions from normal populations or contamination issues.
There are two distinct approaches to genotypic identification of fungi: sequencing of the D2 region of the large subunit ribosomal DNA (D2 LSU), and sequencing of either one or both of the internal transcribed spacer regions between the small and large subunit ribosomal RNA genes (ITS). At NCIMB we combine these techniques to offer a comprehensive service that gives our customers the most reliable species level identification available.
For D2 LSU identification, sequences are analysed against the validated MicroSEQ® database. In some cases, however, this only gives a genus level identification. When this occurs we often find a species level identification can be obtained by using the ITS method.
NCIMB offers a qPCR service. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction is a valuable means of determining the presence or absence of an organism or group of organisms in a sample, whilst also providing very rapid quantitative information. For example, it can be used to monitor the presence of objectionable organisms, enabling remedial action to be taken and modified in response to results as necessary.
Although genotypic identification has superseded phenotypic testing for many applications, at NCIMB we are experienced in the use of morphological, physiological and biochemical tests, which can be required e.g. when circumscribing new species.
We can also provide MALDI TOF testing.
Pure cultures can be sent to us for identification as plates, slopes or broths that have been incubated to produce sufficient growth. Please complete a sequencing request form and send with isolates to be identified.
We can also accept mixed cultures and other sample formats, such as samples of water, slimes or contaminated products, but please contact us to discuss prior to submitting them for identification.
NCIMB does not accept active cultures of dangerous human pathogens or organisms isolated from clinical or diseased plant materials for identification. We cannot accept isolates know to be greater than ACDP category 2 and ACGM class 1.
Take care to package samples appropriately. Detailed advice on the packaging of isolates is available on request.
Sequencing request form
Identification Services Flyer
Expert Article - Bacterial Identification
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