Eimeria tenella

Eimeria tenella is one of the seven species of Eimeria, a group of intracellular protozoan parasites, that causes avian coccidiosis in chicken. It has a significant, detrimental effect on the poultry industry. The total cost of coccidial infections in the UK (circa 780 million broilers) has been estimated to be at least 42 million pounds per year in the UK, with a global cost estimated in the hundreds of millions. At least a quarter of this cost derives from prophylatics and therapy, the remainder attributable to "failure to thrive".

Data Downloads

The Sanger Institute has sequenced the genome of the Eimeria tenella Houghton strain to 7x coverage using capillary sequencing. In addition, both Illumina and 454 sequencing technologies have been used to improve the assembly. Transcriptome sequencing (mRNA-seq) is being used to improve the annotation of the genome and also to examine changes in gene expression between different life stages.

The Eimeria tenella genome project at The Sanger Institute, a joint collaboration with Drs. Martin Shirley and Fiona Tomley (Institute of Animal Health, Compton, UK), has been funded by the BBSRC.

Published Genome Data

The Houghton strain of Eimeria tenella was selected by the research community for the genome project. The genome is approximately 60 MB in size, with a GC content of approximately 53%. There are 14 chromosomes that range in size from 1Mb to > 6Mb. Two major ribosomal DNA clusters, that account for some 2.5% of the genome size, have been mapped as tandem arrays on chromosome 12 (140 copies of an 8 Kb 18S-5.8S-28S unit) and chromosome 10 (500 copies of a 730bp 5S unit).


  • Genomic analysis of the causative agents of coccidiosis in domestic chickens.

    Reid AJ, Blake DP, Ansari HR, Billington K, Browne HP, Bryant J, Dunn M, Hung SS, Kawahara F, Miranda-Saavedra D, Malas TB, Mourier T, Naghra H, Nair M, Otto TD, Rawlings ND, Rivailler P, Sanchez-Flores A, Sanders M, Subramaniam C, Tay YL, Woo Y, Wu X, Barrell B, Dear PH, Doerig C, Gruber A, Ivens AC, Parkinson J, Rajandream MA, Shirley MW, Wan KL, Berriman M, Tomley FM and Pain A

    Genome research 2014;24;10;1676-85

  • Sequencing and analysis of chromosome 1 of Eimeria tenella reveals a unique segmental organization.

    Ling KH, Rajandream MA, Rivailler P, Ivens A, Yap SJ, Madeira AM, Mungall K, Billington K, Yee WY, Bankier AT, Carroll F, Durham AM, Peters N, Loo SS, Isa MN, Novaes J, Quail M, Rosli R, Nor Shamsudin M, Sobreira TJ, Tivey AR, Wai SF, White S, Wu X, Kerhornou A, Blake D, Mohamed R, Shirley M, Gruber A, Berriman M, Tomley F, Dear PH and Wan KL

    Genome research 2007;17;3;311-9

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