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E. coli Reference Center

The E. coli Reference Center is the largest repository for E. coli strains in America.

Dear loyal diagnostic customers,

I am sorry to inform that starting June 22, 2020, the E. coli Reference Center will no longer be accepting isolates for diagnostic (serotyping and PCR genotyping) services.

This is the result of several converging events, including the reduced requests for these services in recent years, the financial impact of COVID-19, and most significantly, the retirement of Ms. Beth Roberts, who has supported the Center with her unique set of skills for decades.

We may be able to offer these services in the context of larger and longer-term contract projects, please contact us directly, but can no longer support the fee-for-service model traditionally driving the Center. We will continue to provide cultures from our collection of nearly 90,000 E. coli isolates deposited since the 1950’s, and will continue moving ahead with curating and sequencing of isolates from the collection, the latter of which currently stands at over 4,500 whole genome sequences.

Please feel free to contact us (ECRC@psu.edu) if we can help identify strains for your research needs. We thank Beth for her years of service, unparalleled ability to handle dozens of client requests simultaneously, and love of everything E. coli.

– Dr. Edward G. Dudley, Director of E. coli Reference Center

About the Center

It is the largest repository for E. coli strains in America. It holds more than 70,000 strains collected over the last 50 years from animals, humans, birds and environment. Characteristics of each strain are well documented in our database and can be retrieved easily. The collection can be utilized for epidemiological studies, antimicrobial resistance over the years, relatedness between strains and for molecular tracking.