management and use
of the scientific
at Department of
Microbiology, University of Tartu
(HUMB) is a scientific collection that contains
microbe strains of human origin
bacteria and opportunistic
pathogens), samples of human microbiota
extracted DNA samples. The biobank
was established to
support and promote research work on collecting,
processing and preserving the
information about the human microbes and their
communities, as well as
development of probiotics.
The collection is guided by
the suggestions of the international organisations of the
corresponding fields (ECCO ? European
Culture Collections’ Organizations, WFCC ? World
Federation of Culture
Collections, CABRI ? Common Access to Biological
Resources and Information,
OECD Best Practice Guidelines for Biological
Resource Centre), suggestions of Nagoya
Protocol and legislations of University of Tartu.
The collection is registered
at WDCM (World Data Centre for
Microorganisms) as WFCC Estonian Human Microbiota Biobank (collection no.
WDCM 977, acronym HUMB).
Information about the
collection is accessible on the Estonian
Electronic Microbial dataBase
(EEMB) website in
On the basis of the
collection, research work is done and formal
education is given. The collection is openly
available for the scientists
working at Department of Microbiology, University
as well as other scientists who need it for
research or teaching purposes
according to agreement of collection managers. The
catalogue of the collection
is openly accessible on the collection website.
2. Structure and management of biobank
The collection is formed of
collected, bought and donated microbe
strains and microbiota
samples as well as information
stored in the digital database.
The purpose of collecting and
preserving the collection is to ensure its
accessibility for research work, probiotic
development and teaching purposes.
When submitting new strains to
the collection, a contract is signed with
the person submitting the strains. This contract
must contain information about
the amount of strains submitted, the project
during which the materials were
collected, financial source, workers involved and
the region from which the
material was collected. These contracts are signed
Management of the collection
is done with the help of electronic
database developed on the basis of dbForge Studio for
The database includes several
information about the preserved material,
including the data about preservation
(form, date, location, next check-up), heritage
(nation, material, donator),
identification (methods, results), determined
properties, clinical and animal
trials, publications (patents, papers,
The collection database is
stored digitally in a couple of copies that
are located in different computers. Printouts of
the database are done
Updates of the collection
(information about new material or new
information for existing material) are uploaded
into the digital database
steadily. The updates are managed by the
collection administrator who collects
necessary information from other staff,
researchers and students.
Each preserved item has an
ID-code which consists on the collection acronym
and a number combination.
It is mandatory to document
the geographical region of origin, the date
of submitting the strain and the person who
submitted the strain to the
collection (EU Regulation No 511/2014).
It is mandatory to document
the material, clinical information about the
donor, geographical region, date of submission to
the collection and the person
adding the material for all microbiota
The head and administrator of
the collection are responsible for proper
usage of the collection and database.
The collection is located at
the Department of Microbiology, University of Tartu
(Ravila 19, Tartu 50411, Estonia).
3. Storage and viability control of
The preservatives (microbe
samples, extracted DNAs)
are stored at -80°C in
multiple parallels in multiple freezers. Isolated
strains are preserved inside
sterile cryovials in
SKIM-milk medium or in special
chemically treated cryosolutions
in cryovials. Part of
the strains are lyophilised
and stored at +4°C.
Viability check of the strains
is performed in 3-5 years depending on
The terms of preservation
(temperature, running maintenance of the
freezers) are controlled by the staff responsible
for the collection.
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
Freezers are equipped with
fault detection systems. In case of a
malfunction, a message automatically is sent to
the person assigned to the
In case of danger to the
storage rooms, actions are in compliance with
the university security rules.
Samples are handled and
utilized according to the “Regulations for
legislation (in force since 31.10.2013
nr. 119, RTL 2003, 115, 1831).
Biological materials are
assigned a code and preserved according to the
regulations of the Council of the European Union
of the Committee of Ministers of member states
on research on biological materials of human
4. Use and availability of biobank
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.
The microbe strains are
available for other institutions of University
as well as other parts according
to MTA (material transfer agreement) for academic
purposes). These contracts are archived. This
cooperation results in shared
publications, dissertations and patents.
of strains for commercial purposes by third
parties are regulated in agreements concluded
between University of Tartu and the user.
The collection catalogue is
publicly accessible: http://eemb.ut.ee/.