Guidelines for management and use of the scientific collection
Collection of Reproductive Tract Microorganisms
at Competence Centre on Health Technologies
CREP (Collection of Reproductive Tract Microorganisms) is a collection of microbe strains and microbiota samples extracted from reproductive tracts. The collection is a part of the Competence Centre on Health Technologies (Tervise TAK). Microbe strains, microbiota samples and DNA samples preserved in the collection are extracted from healthy or infertile individuals, as well as people with inflammatory problems. Samples are taken from males, females and male-female couples. The collection contains beneficial lactobacilli and opportunistic pathogens. The main focus of the collection is on the development of probiotics for the reproductive tract.
The collection follows the recommendations of international organisations, such as ECCO (European Culture Collections' Organization), WFCC (World Federation of Culture Collections), CABRI (Common Access to Biological Resources and Information) and the OECD Best Practice Guidelines for Biological Resource Centre.
The head and administrator of the collection are responsible for proper usage of the collection and database. All biological materials and isolates in the collection are documented. Strict rules are in place for accessing and using of the collection (Recommendation Rec(2006)4 of the Committee of Ministers of member states on research on biological materials of human origin, article 14).
The collection catalogue is publicly accessible: http://eemb.ut.ee/ and http://eemb.ut.ee/eng.
Management and structure of collection
The collection consists of microbe strains and microbiota samples that are collected during scientific research or bought and information in a digital database.
When submitting new samples to the collection, information about the sample is added to the digital database. The database is also updated when new information is obtained about the samples. The updates are managed by the collection administrator who collects necessary information from other staff, researchers and students.
Each preserved item has a unique ID-code which consists on the collection acronym and a number combination.
Biological materials are assigned a code and preserved according to the regulations of the Council of the European Union (Recommendation Rec(2006)4 of the Committee of Ministers of member states on research on biological materials of human origin).
The head and administrator of the collection are responsible for proper usage of the collection and database.
The collection is located at Biomedicum (Ravila 19, Tartu 50411, Estonia).
Storage and viability control of the samples
The preservatives (microbe strains, microbiota samples, extracted DNAs) are stored at -80°C in multiple parallels in multiple freezers. Isolated strains are preserved in sterile cryovials in a SKIM-milk medium or in special chemically treated cryosolutions in cryovials
The collection is preserved in locked refrigerators. The collection is accessible only to the assigned person, in absence of those persons only to an assigned substitute. No third party has access to the collection.
Conditions for preservation (the temperature and continuous maintenance of the freezers) are managed by the head of the collection. Freezers are equipped with fault detection systems. In case of a malfunction, a message automatically is sent to the person assigned to the collection.
Viability check of the strains is performed in 3-5 years depending on the species.
Samples are handled and utilized according to the “Regulations for handling infectious material” legislation (in force since 31.10.2013 nr. 119, RTL 2003, 115, 1831).
Use and availability of biobank
The strains and other materials preserved in the collection as well as the information about them are accessible for scientific research within the company. The microbe strains in the collection are handed over after an agreement between the head of the collection and the researcher that submitted the samples.
The strains and other materials preserved in the collection as well as the information about them are accessible for academic research (noncommercial purposes) within the institution but also for other parts according to the MTA (material transfer agreement) in case of licences or research collaborations.
The collection catalogue is publicly accessible: http://eemb.ut.ee/.