Monday, May 20, 2024

What attracts mosquitoes to the human body?


A recent study found that human body odor contains various chemicals that attract insects, especially mosquitoes, which can cause special problems for humans, especially in summer.

Many people are disgusted by the itching caused by mosquito bites, so they try to get chemicals on their bodies and where they sit to protect them from these pesky insects.

A recent scientific report says Published by researchersOn Friday, the female mosquito preparing to lay eggs requires a meal of extra protein, which is blood, and this is the reason for the mosquito’s constant attacks on humans.

Because mosquito bites can sometimes be fatal because of the parasites and viruses they carry that can cause serious diseases like malaria, the report says, irritating itchiness is at best.

“Malaria still causes more than 600,000 deaths annually, mostly among children under five and pregnant women,” said McMenemon, senior author of the new study published in the journal Current Biology.

He later told CNN that “mosquito-borne diseases cause a lot of suffering around the world, and part of the motivation for this study is to understand how malaria-carrying mosquitoes find humans.”

In this study, McMeneman and colleagues focused on Anopheles gambiae, a mosquito species found in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically in Zambia, where the study took place.

“We were very excited to try to develop a system that could study the behavior of the African malaria mosquito in a natural habitat that mimics its native habitat in Africa,” said the researcher.

The researchers also wanted to compare the odor “tastes” of mosquitoes in different humans, to observe the insects’ ability to track odors up to 20 meters away, and to study during their most active hours, i.e. between 10 p.m. 2 am.

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The behavior of hundreds of mosquitoes was then monitored within 20 meters of the people sleeping in the tents.

It is important to note that the mosquitoes used in the study were not infected with malaria and could not reach sleeping humans, as the research was only intended to study their behavior and not monitor their biting patterns.

Researchers have found that what most of us believe that mosquitoes are more attractive to people than others is true.


Chemical analysis of the air from the tents where the subjects slept revealed which odor-causing substances were behind the mosquito attraction, or lack thereof.

The researchers found that mosquitoes are more attracted to a type of acid called “carboxylic acid”.Carboxylic acidIt is a compound found in “scented” cheeses such as the well-known Limburger.

These carboxylic acids are produced by bacteria on human skin and are invisible to us.

Although the carboxylic acids attracted mosquitoes, the insects appeared to be deterred by another chemical called eucalyptol.Eucalyptus) and are present in plants.

The researchers suspected that a sample with a high concentration of eucalyptol might be related to the participants’ diet.

One of the researchers involved in the study said it was “interesting” to find a link between the chemicals in different people’s body odors and the attraction of mosquitoes to those odors.

He continued in an interview withCNN“This discovery opens up avenues for developing repellents that can be used in traps that disrupt mosquito behavior, thereby controlling malaria vectors in disease-prone areas.”

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“I think this is a very exciting study,” said Leslie Voshall, MD, a neurologist and vice president and chief scientific officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, who was not involved in the study.

“This is the first time such an experiment has been conducted outside the laboratory,” he continued.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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