§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what collections of drug resistant micro organisms are known to the Health Protection Agency; and what steps are being taken to maintain and support such collections. 
§ Yvette Cooper
Currently, the National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) and National Collection of Pathogenic Fungi (NCPF), are comprehensive collections of pathogenic micro-organisms, including strains known to be drug resistant. Both NCTC and NCPF are maintained by the Public Health Laboratory Service in the NCTC laboratory and supported by the funding provided to the Public Health Laboratory Service by the Department of Health and the Welsh Assembly Government.
The Chief Medical Officer's strategy, Getting Ahead of the Curve, proposes the creation of a Health Protection Agency which will take over functions currently performed by the PHLS and other bodies. We aim to establish the new agency by 1 April 2003.