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Pathogen Resource Management: NCCP
The NCCP, the centralized pathogen resource bank, collects, preserves, and distributes pathogenic microorganisms clinically isolated from humans along with their information. Its aim is to contribute to scientific communities by maintaining and providing high-quality microbial resources useful for various fields of research, particularly medical science and laboratory healthcare. The NCCP had been managed under the Division of High-risk Pathogen Research until 2011 and was then independently separated as Pathogen Resource TF launched a project for highly specialized resource management in 2012. As the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization came into force on October 12, 2014, the Pathogen Resource TF strengthened the collection of diverse pathogens and legal groundwork establishment. The Act for the Promotion of Collection, Management, and Utilization of Pathogen Resources, enacted on February 3 in 2016, aimed to improve the public’s health by promoting the collection, management, and utilization of pathogen resources and contributing to the development of the healthcare industry. The Act was first enforced on February 4, 2017. The NCCP has collected pathogen resources through active collaborations with various entities. As Specialized Pathogen Resource Banks, two organizations (Catholic Kwandong University International St. Mary’s Hospital and Korea University) focus on medical fungi and viruses. The NCCP also undertook projects to collect rarely isolated pathogens and obligate intracellular bacteria such as O. tsutsugamushi. The NCCP has collected 318 species and 2591 strains and made available 147 species and 306 strains of new pathogen resources in 2017 (Table 4). The NCCP manages a database comprising information on 639 species and 2,728 strains that are available to the general public through the NCCP website. In 2017, 128 species and 1,460 strains were distributed to institutes and researchers nationwide (Table 1).