-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have
learned more about how mosquitoes detect skin odor, and they say
their findings could lead to better repellants and traps.
Mosquitoes are attracted to our skin odor and to the carbon
dioxide we exhale. Previous research found that mosquitoes have
special neurons that enable them to detect carbon dioxide. Until
now, however, scientists had not pinpointed the neurons that
mosquitoes use to detect skin odor.
The new study found that the neurons used to detect carbon
dioxide are also used to identify skin odor. This means it should
be easier to find ways to block mosquitoes' ability to zero in on
people, according to the study's authors. The findings appeared in
the Dec. 5 issue of the journal
"These findings open up very realistic possibilities of developing ways to use simple, natural, affordable and pleasant odors to prevent mosquitoes from finding humans," senior author Anandasankar Ray, of the University of California, Riverside, said in a journal news release.
Mosquitoes can carry dangerous diseases such as malaria, dengue
fever and West Nile virus.
"The powerful experimental approaches we have developed will help us find potential solutions that we could use not only here in the United States but also in Africa, Asia and South America, where affordability is key in the war against these diseases," Ray said.
"The insect olfactory system is an excellent target to manipulate their attraction to humans and other prey," Ray said. "We believe that this study will be the foundation for the discovery of a new generation of mosquito-behavior-modifying approaches."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.