Haemonchus contortus

Haemonchus contortus is a highly pathogenic parasitic nematode of that can infect a large number of wild and domesticated ruminant species and is the most economically important parasite of sheep and goats worldwide. Although originally a tropical parasite, it has been disseminated around the world by livestock movement and can now be found as far north as the arctic circle. Adult worms are blood feeders that reside in the abomasum (stomach) and are approximately 2cm in length when mature. They are dioecious with single females typically producing several thousand eggs per day which pass out of the host in faeces and develop to infective larvae on the pasture.

H. contortus is a member of the superfamily trichostrongyloidea (Strongylida) which contains most of the economically important parasitic nematodes of grazing livestock. These parasites cost the global livestock industry billions of dollars per annum in lost production and drug costs. Resistance to all the major anthelmintic classes is now common worldwide often leading to failure of treatment and control. H. contortus is a close relative of the human hookworm species and belongs to the nearest phylogenetic group of parasites to the free-living model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This makes it an important model of parasitic nematode biology that is commonly used for experimental studies.

Data Downloads

This is a Wellcome Trust funded project to sequence and analyse the nuclear genome of H. contortus with the goal of producing reference quality genome sequence. We are collaborating with John Gilleard (University of Calgary).

Data Use Statement

This sequencing centre plans on publishing the completed and annotated sequences in a peer-reviewed journal as soon as possible. Permission of the principal investigator should be obtained before publishing analyses of the sequence/open reading frames/genes on a chromosome or genome scale. See our data sharing policy.

Sequencing enquiries

Please address all sequencing enquiries to: pathinfo@sanger.ac.uk