Polyomic tools for an emerging livestock parasite, the rumen fluke Calicophoron daubneyi; identifying shifts in rumen functionality

Kathryn Mair Huson, Russell Morphew, Nathan Allen, Matthew Hegarty, Hilary Worgan, Susan Girdwood, Eleanor Lydia Jones, Helen Phillips, Martin Vickers, Martin Swain, Daniel Smith, Alison Kingston-Smith, Peter Brophy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
368 Downloads (Pure)


Diseases caused by parasitic flatworms of rumen tissues (paramphistomosis) are a significant threat to global food security as a cause of morbidity and mortality in ruminant livestock in subtropical and tropical climates. Calicophoron daubneyi is currently the only paramphistome species commonly infecting ruminant livestock in temperate European climates. However, recorded incidences of C. daubneyi infection in European livestock have been increasing over the last decade. Whilst clinical paramphistomosis caused by adult worms has not been confirmed in Europe, fatalities have been attributed to severe haemorrhagic enteritis of the small intestine resulting from the migration of immature paramphistomes. Large numbers of mature adults can reside in the rumen, yet to date, the impact on rumen fermentation, and consequently on productivity and economic management of infected livestock, have not been resolved. Limited publicly available nucleotide and protein sequences for C. daubneyi underpin this lack of biological and economic understanding. Here we present for the first time a de novo assembled transcriptome, with functional annotations, for adult C. daubneyi, which provides a reference database for protein and nucleotide sequence identification to facilitate fundamental biology, anthelmintic, vaccine and diagnostics discoveries.

This dataset identifies a number of genes potentially unique to C. daubneyi and, by comparison to an existing transcriptome for the related Paramphistomum cervi, identifies novel genes which may be unique to the paramphistome group of platyhelminthes. Additionally, we present the first coverage of the excretory/secretory and soluble somatic proteome profiles for adult C. daubneyi and identify the release of extracellular vesicles from adult C. daubneyi parasites during in vitro, ex-host culture. Finally, we have performed the first analysis of rumen fluke impacting upon rumen fermentation parameters using an in vitro gas production study resulting in a significant increase in propionate production.

The resulting data provide a discovery platform (transcriptome, proteomes, EV isolation pipeline and in vitro fermentation system) to further study C. daubneyi-host interaction. In addition, the acetate: propionate ratio has been demonstrated to decrease with rumen fluke infection suggesting that acidotic conditions in the rumen may occur.
Original languageEnglish
Article number617
Number of pages22
JournalParasites & Vectors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 04 Dec 2018


  • Calicophoron daubneyi
  • Rumen fermentation
  • In vitro
  • Proteomics
  • Paramphistome
  • Transcriptome
  • Rumen/metabolism
  • Trematode Infections/epidemiology
  • Extracellular Vesicles
  • Paramphistomatidae/genetics
  • Genes, Helminth
  • Cattle Diseases/epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways/genetics
  • Animals
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Europe/epidemiology
  • Cattle
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile/analysis
  • Livestock/parasitology


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