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Strain Collection

Strain Collection

We are in the process of creating a web-based searchable form for identifying strains in our collection that meet your criteria.  In the meantime, you can find below the database in Excel format, containing all strains in the collection and the most common metadata requested by clients (year of isolation, location and species of isolation, presence of virulence genes, etc).  The second tab in this file contains an explanation of column headers.  We plan to update this spreadsheet at least once per month, so please make sure you are using the most recent version.  Note the first two numbers of an ECRC isolate name indicates the year we received that isolate (ie. strain 12.1234 was the 1234th isolate archived in 2012).  If you are looking for other information, please contact .” 

Isolates Database in Excel format

Sequenced Isolates

Through internal projects and external collaborations, most recently through involvement with the FDA’s GenomeTrakr network, we have genome sequences for over 2,000 isolates in our collection, and anticipate growing that to over 3,000 by the end of 2018.  More information about identifying these isolates, and the corresponding GenBank accession, can be found in the spreadsheet.

Ordering E.coli Strains

You may either select strains on your own, or contact for assistance.  Please send strain requests to , along with information about characteristics you are looking for (certain serogroups, presence of virulence genes, etc).  Also, please send the name and contact information for shipping, as well as this information for individual(s) in your organization who have authority to sign a Materials Transfer Agreement (MTA).   The process that follows:

  1. We will grow these isolates and confirm any phenotypes/genotypes that you require.  We will contact you if any isolates fail our screens;
  2. We send your request to Penn State’s Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), who will contact your organization to sign the MTA;
  3. iAfter returning the MTA, Penn State will countersign, and send the final document to us, authorizing us to ship the strains;
  4. If your organization is outside the United States, additional procedures may be needed depending on the virulence potential of the isolates you request.


Our charge is $100/isolate plus shipping costs, and this price includes all tests we perform to verify phenotype/genotype prior to sending.  If you have a large number of characteristics you need verified, please contact us to discuss your project further.  If your request seems standard, such as requiring isolates encoding particular Shiga toxins, please contact first as we likely have isolates we can recommend.