An overview of Calicophoron daubneyi (Rumen Fluke) life cycle; culturing rumen fluke at RRL.

Calicophoron daubneyi (rumen fluke)

Throughout the UK and Ireland the incidence of Calicophoron daubneyi (rumen fluke) infections in sheep, cattle, and goats has become an increasing problem. In some areas of the UK rumen fluke infections have even been found to outnumber that of Fasciola hepatica (liver fluke) infections. Although these fluke share the same intermediate host (the mud snail Galba truncatula), a lot less is known about rumen fluke, however research into this parasite is increasing in response to its greater prevalence.

High Quality metacerariae produced at RRL

In addition to our activities culturing liver fluke metacercariae, Ridgeway Research has a laboratory dedicated to the replication of the rumen fluke lifecycle. We provide a bespoke service to research institutions, contract research and pharmaceutical organisations, culturing and supplying rumen fluke metacercariae to order.  

Ridgeway supplied Queen’s University Belfast with rumen fluke metacercariae, which were used for research in to the optimisation of in vitro excystment of the parasite. The abstract of the published paper can be read below:

Optimized conditions for the in vitro excystment of Calicophoron daubneyi metacercariae.

Parasitology. 2018 Jul;145(8):1015-1019. doi: 10.1017/S0031182017002220. Epub 2017 Dec 14.

Huson KM1Wild C2Fenn C2Robinson MW1.


Paramphistomosis, caused by Calicophoron daubneyi, is an emerging infection of ruminants throughout Western Europe. Despite its prevalence, many questions remain regarding the basic biology of this parasite and how it interacts with its host. Consequently, there is a need to develop methods to study C. daubneyi in vitro to improve our understanding of rumen fluke biology. Towards this, we aimed to identify a suitable protocol for in vitro excystment of C. daubneyi metacercariae. Six methods that have been used to excyst metacercariae from a number of trematode species were tested with C. daubneyi metacercariae. Three of these achieved an average of >50% excystment whilst one method, which included an acid-pepsin treatment, incubation in reducing conditions and an alkaline/bile salt solution to activate the larvae, consistently gave >80% excystment. The latter protocol also showed no detrimental effect on the motility of newly excysted juvenile (NEJ) parasites when observed for up to 24 h in RPMI 1640 medium post-excystment. The successful production of C. daubneyi NEJs in vitro is a significant step forward, and will enable the discovery of infective stage-specific parasite antigens and facilitate drug screening trials, to aid the development of much needed diagnostic and therapeutic options for paramphistomosis.

Calicophoron Daubneyi (Rumen Fluke) life cycle

Ridgeway have recorded the different stages of the rumen fluke life cycle, from the eggs, infection through the intermediate host, to the adult fluke in situ in the ovine host, these images can be seen below.

If you are conducting research on rumen fluke and are interested in obtaining metacercariae, adult fluke or eggs, please contact us here, as we are the only organisation that commercially provides rumen fluke metacercariae.

Images of the different stages of C. daubneyi life cycle


(Please note these images are subject to copyright and the sole property of Ridgeway Research Ltd).