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REFERENCE NO: PH/2003/04/01



This document describes the basic procedure to be followed when phages are distributed to customers.


  1. Input/check customer in database upon receipt of the order:

Phages can be supplied to laboratories and educational institutions and to individuals operating in a professional environment, but not to private persons. Therefore, first orders should be sent on an order form with official letterhead, signed by an authorized person. 

  1. Check the availability of the ordered material: 

If the material is no longer available in the collection, the customer must be informed. 

  1. Check order details, security, quality and transfer restriction codes as well as the necessary documents allowing the customer to receive and handle the ordered material: 
    • All details on shipment and invoicing should be on the order form
    • Necessary documents with regard to security, quality and transfer restriction codes should be enclosed with the order.

      If these criteria are not fulfilled, the collection has to contact the customer and, when appropriate, send the necessary documents. 
  1. Input order in computer; retrieval of the ordered material from the distribution stock; adapt stock management system; packaging and administrative handling of the dossier:

    If all criteria decribed in paragraph 1-3 are fulfilled, the order can be entered into the computer. All relevant information concerning customers, resources and stock management must be computerized and linked. As such, delivery notes, (proforma) invoices, address labels and shipper’s declarations can be automatically generated. 

Every effort should be made to supply only pure, viable and authentic resources. Phages can be distributed in various forms, mostly dependent on the preservation method:

  • Bacteria-free lysate suspension, high titre is desirable
  • Vacuum-dried on filter paper (according to a known described method; e.g. used by DSMZ for some phages)

For packaging and transmport, the collection should follow national and/or international regulations which are explained in "Rohde, Shipping of infectious, non-infectious and genetically modified biological materials – International regulations, 1998 edition, DSMZ – Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH". This brochure can be obtained from DSMZ upon request. Phages are not regulated as dangerous goods and hence the respective transport regulations don't apply whereas phages can usually be sent by postal mail. Instructions how to handle the material should be provided. 

  1. Dispatch via courier or postal service: 

The customer assumes full liability for handling, storage, loss and possible abuse of material supplied by the collection. Consequently, the collection will not accept claims for damages and/or injuries arising from shipment or handling of phages.

Guidelines prepared for CABRI by DSMZ in cooperation with NCCB and NCIMB
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Copyright CABRI, 2004

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