Background: Triatomines are hematophagous insects that act as vectors of Chagas disease. Rhodnius neglectus is one of these kissing bugs found, contributing to the transmission of this American trypanosomiasis. The saliva of hematophagous arthropods contains bioactive molecules responsible for counteracting host haemostatic, inflammatory, and immune responses.
Methods/principal findings: Next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry-based protein identification were performed to investigate the content of triatomine R. neglectus saliva. We deposited 4,230 coding DNA sequences (CDS) in GenBank. A set of 636 CDS of proteins of putative secretory nature was extracted from the assembled reads, 73 of them confirmed by proteomic analysis. The sialome of R. neglectus was characterized and serine protease transcripts detected. The presence of ubiquitous protein families was revealed, including lipocalins, serine protease inhibitors, and antigen-5. Metalloproteases, disintegrins, and odorant binding protein families were less abundant.
Conclusions/significance: The data presented improve our understanding of hematophagous arthropod sialomes, and aid in understanding hematophagy and the complex interplay among vectors and their vertebrate hosts.