A female Anopheles stephanus mosquito.
James Gattani/CDC via AP

  • Researchers conducted a study to determine how different human body odors attract mosquitoes.
  • A facility was set up where hundreds of mosquitoes were exposed to human odor.
  • Their research shows that mosquitoes are attracted to carboxylic acids, including those found in milk.

Researchers have learned a key odorant in the human body that may be particularly attractive to mosquitoes – and the answer lies in cheese.

as if The study was published on Friday in Current Biologyresearchers from the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and School of Medicine, in collaboration with the Macha Research Trust in Zambia, have discovered the characteristics of different human body odors that are more attractive to mosquitoes.

The study used a 20m by 20m filter cage containing hundreds of African mosquitoes, the study said. Despite this name, the mosquitoes were not infected with malaria CNN first reported on the study.

There are eight one-man tents around the facility. These tents are connected to the house in such a way that human body odor can be safely fed to mosquitoes.

Researchers have found that mosquitoes are attracted to human body odors by “relative abundances of volatile carboxylic acids,” including butyric acid. Butyric acid is a fatty acid that humans produce in their intestines, but it also occurs naturally in butter, “hard cheeses” such as Parmesan, milk, yogurt, and cream. According to a separate study prepared by the National Library of Medicine. The acid is also found in some baked goods, such as pickles and pickled cucumbers, the study found.

In contrast, mosquitoes were less attracted to body odors that were free of carboxylic acids and “rich in the monoterpenoid eucalyptol,” the Johns Hopkins and Mack researchers found. Eucalyptol is found in tea tree oil and cannabis sativa. According to the American Chemical Society.

According to PubChem, the compound is also commonly found in mouthwashes and cough suppressants.

Connor J., a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-author of the study. McMeniman did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside business hours.

“This discovery opens the door to lures or decoys that can be used in traps to disrupt the host-seeking behavior of mosquitoes, thereby controlling malaria pathogens in endemic regions,” the paper told CNN.

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