It occurs in ponds, waters that dry up periodically, floodplain pools and small lakes. An M13 forward primer sequence was added to the 5′ end of each forward primer, following the protocol of Boutin-Ganache et al. (2001) Amplification reactions for microsatellite analyses were performed with genomic DNA from 13 specimens of H. medicinalis and 13 specimens of wild H. verbana using equal quantities of each microsatellite primer pair and a 6-FAM fluorescently labelled M13 forward primer.Neither a reduction in population sizes nor a decline in the geographical ranges in comparison with previous records have been detected. The foregoing confirms recent work pointing to more than one distinct species of European medicinal leech ( Nesemann & Neubert 1999 ; Trontelj et al. 2004 ; Trontelj & Utevsky 2005 ) and a suspicion that widely used laboratory model organisms are incorrectly identified ( Kutschera 2006 ). Whether the erroneous marketing of H. verbana as H. medicinalis might be relevant to efficacy is not thoroughly determined but seems doubtful.Genetic research has revealed that commercially available medicinal leeches used around the world in biomedical research and postoperative care have been misclassified for centuries. Biochemical characterization and identification of using an identification scheme from Abbot et al. ( 1 ), the majority of the symbionts were clearly identified as A. veronii biovar sobria (Table 1 ). Twenty-four isolates from eight H. medicinalis (farm-raised animals from France and Germany and captured animals from Turkey) were characterized by using 41 biochemical tests.This study deals with the habitat preferences of medicinal leech Hirudo medicinalis Linnaeus, 1758 in the Czech Republic, in a highly agriculturally used and fragmented landscape, and provides the detailed information about the ventral coloration of this species. Our results concur with most previous studies by finding exclusively Aeromonas in the crop of the digestive tract of H. medicinalis ( 4 , 21 , 23 ). In contrast, a recent study reported the presence of 11 species from nine genera in the digestive tract of H. medicinalis ( 31 ). While it is possible that medicinal leeches carry such a diverse bacterial flora, the lack of quantitative data limits the assessment of these results.Medicinal leeches are any of several species of leeches , but most commonly Hirudo medicinalis, the European medicinal leech. Earlier studies of the digestive tract flora of H. medicinalis identified the symbiont as A. hydrophila( 21 , 47 ). Since then, the taxonomy of Aeromonashas undergone dramatic changes, rendering the original species identification questionable ( 1 ). Our data indicate that the major culturable isolate present in the crop of H. medicinalis is A. veronii biovar sobria.
It would be interesting to reexamine clinical isolates from patients infected with Aeromonasafter treatment with H. medicinalis by using the identification scheme of Abbott et al. ( 1 ). If the wound infections resulting from the application of medicinal leeches are caused by the bacteria on the surface and not by the digestive tract isolates, the surface of the animals could be disinfected prior to applying the medicinal leech to the patients and thus reduce the risk of infection.Medicinalis and the suspected vertical transmission from parent to offspring through the cocoon prompted earlier researchers to consider the bacteria mutualistic endosymbionts ( 3 , 23 ). While beneficial functions for the host have been proposed, none have been supported experimentally, and we propose that these bacteria should be considered cooperative (not causing disease) symbionts until a benefit for both partners is demonstrated.One mechanism that has been suggested to prevent rapid proliferation of bacteria in the crop of H. medicinalis is the presence of proteinase inhibitors bdellin and eglin ( 38 ). The initial rapid proliferation suggests that proteinase inhibitors are not important in restricting the bacterial growth for the first 12 h, but these inhibitors or other compound(s) produced by the host could account for the subsequent restriction in bacterial growth.Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species. See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences. It is likely that ongoing deterioration in many wetland habitats and projected effects of climate change will result in a 20-30% decline in the area of good quality habitat.On the other hand, the potential and actual loss of wetland habitats, the global decline of amphibians, abandonment of traditional grazing practices and the scarcity of mammalian blood in leech diet are likely to affect populations and geographical ranges. Hirudo medicinalis has experienced recent rapid population growth and range expansion. The leech Hirudo medicinalis is a segmented worm that is dorso-ventrally flattened.