Gut Microbiome Services

NCIMB supplies strains and provides storage, next generation sequencing and strain characterisation services to support microbiome research and companies developing microbiome and probiotic products.

Pharmaceutical and Personal Care

Supporting the research & development of products for a healthier future

In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in the microbiome and how it can impact on human health. NCIMB is a trusted supplier of microbial products and services to companies and researchers working in this field.

Why choose NCIMB?

  • NCIMB has a strong track record of working with companies in the microbiome, probiotics and live biotherapeutics sector, supplying strains, offsite storage of biological materials and sequencing services.
  • The feedback we receive from our customers tells us that they value the high levels of customer service we provide.
  • Our new purpose built laboratories are well equipped for microbiome work and include ACDP category three facilities.

Next generation sequencing

16S Metagenomics for microbial community analysis

16S metagenomics allows whole bacterial communities to be studied, and is the technology that has underpinned the recent transformation in understanding of mankind's relationship with microorganisms. 16S metagenomics analysis provides information on the relative abundance of different groups of bacteria in a microbiome sample. We are equipped with an ACDP category three lab, and our laboratory scientists are experienced in the analysis of faecal samples.

Whole genome sequencing and characterisation of probiotic and live biotherapeutic strains

We offer whole genome sequencing of bacteria and use the Qiagen CLC Genomics Workbench to analyse sequences.  You can use our whole genome sequencing  services to screen strains for antimicrobial resistance genes and virulence factors, as well as to monitor for strain drift over time. We also offer a package of laboratory tests that assess functional characteristics of candidate probiotic strains. These include mucin adhesion assessment, gastric survival assays and aggregation testing.

Culture collection - gut commensals

Our culture collection, the National Collection of Industrial, Food and Marine Bacteria, is part of the UK's Biological Resource Network. It's a fantastic collection of thousands of ACDP category 1 & 2 organisms that includes human microbiome strains, including gut commensals, as well as strains isolated from fermented foods from around the world and a rich diversity of other sources.

Enumeration of viable bacteria: viability PCR (PMA-qPCR)

Enumeration of viable microorganisms can be a key requirement for microbiome researchers and companies developing probiotic products, but is challenging.  There has therefore been growing interest in PMA-qPCR, i.e. a qPCR method that can distinguish between living and dead cells, as a way of addressing this challenge.

At NCIMB we carry out projects to support our customers’ process and product development and have experience of undertaking PMA-qPCR as part of customer projects. If you are interested in exploring the use of viability qPCR within a research project, get in touch to find out more.


At NCIMB we have more than seventy years' experience of preserving and safely storing biological material. An offsite back up can reduce the risk of loss of your important strains and we can tailor a storage package to your needs.


NCIMB undertakes contract research projects for customers in the microbiome and probiotics sectors. We also take part in collaborative research and work with partners to unlock the potential of our culture collection.

Please contact us for more information.
16S metagenomics

16S metagenomics

NCIMB offers 16S metagenomics analysis and our laboratory scientists are experienced in analysis of faecal samples.

16S metagenomics >
Whole genome sequencing

Whole genome sequencing

Characterise strains, monitor for strain drift and compare closely related strains.

Whole genome sequencing >

Culture collection

Part of the UK's Biological Resource Network, our culture collection includes microbiome strains, fermented foods strains and more.

Culture Collection >
qPCR testing services

Detect & quantify

Viability qPCR could be a useful technique in microbiome studies and we have experience using it for customer projects.

Quantification of bacteria: qPCR >
Patent Deposit, Preservation and Storage

Storage & Patent Deposit

NCIMB provides a patent deposit service under the Budapest Treaty, as well as preservation and storage services for biological material.

Storage & Patent Deposit >
Microbial Identification Services


We undertake contract microbiology research projects for customers and take part in collaborative programs.

Contract research & projects >