The salivary transcriptome of Limnobdella mexicana (Annelida: Clitellata: Praobdellidae) and orthology determination of major leech anticoagulants.Parasitology. 2019 09; 146(10):1338-1346.P
Bloodfeeding requires several adaptations that allow the parasite to feed efficiently. Leeches and other hematophagous animals have developed different mechanisms to inhibit hemostasis, one of the main barriers imposed by their hosts. Limnobdella mexicana is a member of the leech family Praobdellidae, a family of host generalists known for their preference to attach on mucosal membranes of mammals, such as those in nasopharyngeal cavities, bladders and ocular orbits. Previous studies have hypothesized a positive relationship between diversity of anticoagulants and diversity of hosts in bloodfeeding leeches. However, orthology determination of putative anticoagulants and the lack of standardization of sequencing effort and method hinder comparisons between publicly available transcriptomes generated in different laboratories. In the present study, we examine the first transcriptome of a praobdellid leech and identify 15 putative anticoagulants using a phylogeny-based inference approach, amino-acid conservation, Pfam domains and BLAST searches. Our phylogenetic analyses suggest that the ancestral leech was able to inhibit factor Xa and that some hirudins that have been reported in previous studies on leech anticoagulants may not be orthologous with the archetypal hirudin.