Eimeria can cause the disease coccidiosis in livestock, creating significant production and welfare challenges. Control measures available to reduce the impact of coccidiosis in ruminants are currently restricted to targeted husbandry and strategic use of drugs, with no anticoccidial vaccines available. Here, we have sought to develop genomic resources for Eimeria species that infect ruminants as a foundation for the future translation of experimental subunit vaccines being validated for use in poultry. During the course of this project, we have screened 110 intestinal or faecal samples submitted from farmers or veterinary practices for the presence of Eimeria, selecting a panel of 26 for detailed analysis by microscopy. Eighteen field samples with the lowest species complexity were taken forward for whole genome sequencing, supplemented with material extracted from pure reference Eimeria lines sourced from collaborating European laboratories. Draft genome sequence resources have been created, with preliminary bioinformatics screens identifying sequences predicted to code for anticoccidial vaccine candidates. The data generated here provides an entry to molecular vaccine development for coccidial parasites that affect ruminants.

Contact details:

Professor Damer Blake

Professor of Parasite Genetics

Royal Veterinary College

E: dblake@rvc.ac.uk