Researchers at Lund University have discovered exactly what causes some species of mosquitoes to be attracted to humans.
Through a very sophisticated method, a small hole was made in the heads of the test mosquitoes and with the help of a laser, the researchers were then able to look into the mosquitoes’ brains at the same time that they were exposed to various mosquito species. Aromatherapy writes Science Radio.
The test was conducted on the Aedis aegypti mosquito, which spreads diseases such as yellow fever, dengue, Zika and chikungunya.
Human scent activates a specific part of the mosquito’s brain that is not activated by the scent of other animals, Markus Stensmeyer, senior lecturer at Lund University, tells Vetenskapsradion.
The two substances that have been shown to be the mothers of mosquitoes that activate the odor bulb of mosquitoes in the brain are molecules decanol and undecanol, which are byproducts of the breakdown of sebum – a substance we have on the skin that acts as a natural skin lotion.
This discovery may lead to the development of agents that could provide protection from mosquitoes and then also three of the most terrifying diseases in tropical or subtropical climates.
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