Sciensano hosts the BCCM/IHEM collection of molds and yeasts of medical and veterinary interest. It is important to safely store the biological material used in specific studies or tests.
The material can indeed be lost or undergo genetic modifications resulting from external factors. It is therefore important to provide reference material, particularly for the development of diagnostic tests, the validation of specific methods or teaching.
The BCCM/IHEM collection
Sciensano hosts the BCCM/IHEM collection, an important collection of yeasts and molds of medical and veterinary interest. This collection has about 15,000 different strains that are publicly available. These include medical or veterinary isolates, strains that cause allergies or that produce mycotoxins.
The BCCM/IHEM collection focusses on three types of activities :
- the preservation, characterization and distribution of strains
- services to third parties (e.g. the identification, determination of antifungal susceptibility, typing)
- scientific research in the field of medical mycology
Research topics in this collection include, but are not limited to, phylogeny of fungi, resistance to antifungals, identification methods, etc.
Further information on this subject is also available on the website of the Public Service of Political Science Programming (Belspo).