Why do mosquitoes bite some people more than others?
It is almost impossible to hide from the female mosquito, because this small and persistent creature tracks the carbon dioxide released when you exhale and the heat and smell of your body. It can find your hideout at any time!
Meanwhile, some people attract mosquitoes like magnets and get bitten by mosquitoes more than their fair share and average! In the meantime, blood type, blood sugar level, consumption of garlic or banana, being a woman or a child, are all among the common theories that are discussed here and there to answer this question! However, it is important to know that there is little valid scientific data to prove most of these reasons.
Why do mosquitoes bite some people more than others?
Among the sea of different theories for The answer to this question, one of the most scientific hypotheses that has recently been tested is the changes in individual smell related to skin microbiota, which researchers consider to be the reason for attracting attention to mosquitoes! In fact, during the studies conducted at the Rockefeller University, it is hypothesized that the fatty acids that are emitted from the skin may be responsible for creating a specific smell that is extremely seductive for mosquitoes.
Experiment for mosquitoes and humans
During a three-year study, eight participants in a special experiment to investigate why mosquitoes like to bite some subjects were asked to spend six hours a day with nylon stockings pulled over their forearms (repeating this process for several days!). After going through the considered process, the researchers divided all pairs of nylon socks into two groups through an olfactory method, each of which ended with a transparent tube! After that, they placed mosquitoes of the species "Aedes aegypti" (which carries diseases such as Zika, dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya) in transparent tubes and observed that the mosquitoes in the tubes flew towards some socks more than others. they do. Meanwhile, sample number 33 was four times more attractive to mosquitoes than the most attractive sample of the next study participant. Also, this sample was 100 times more attractive to mosquitoes than the least attractive sample number 19.Skin microbiota is a term used to describe the collection of microorganisms that live on our skin. The term specifically refers to the genome of all such microbes, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and living mites.
Of course, it should be noted that in this experiment, the samples related to each participant were not identified according to the individual's characteristics, so the experimenters did not know which participant wore which nylon. However, these researchers noticed that in every experiment where sample number 33 was present, something unusual was going on, as the insects flocked to that sample! They divided them into two attractive and unattractive categories for mosquitoes, and then asked the other category about their differences. The researchers also used chemical analysis techniques to identify 50 molecular compounds that were higher on the epidermis (a moisturizing layer on the skin) of participants with high attractiveness to mosquitoes. In this regard, people who strongly attracted mosquitoes produced higher levels of carboxylic acids than volunteers who were less attractive to mosquitoes! As mentioned before, this type of acid is produced on the sebum of the skin and by bacteria on our skin, and each person produces his unique smell through the interactions of these bacteria.Researchers used chemical analysis techniques to identify 50 compounds. They used a molecule that was higher on the sebum of participants with high attractiveness to mosquitoes, and found that higher levels of carboxylic acids than other volunteers could increase the likelihood of being bitten!
In order to confirm the result, the research team enrolled another 56 people for a validation study, and during the review again, sample number 33 was the most attractive to mosquitoes. De Obaldia, one of the researchers of the study, admits that some people were studied for several years, and the scientists clearly knew that if that person was a magnet for mosquitoes, they would still be attractive to mosquitoes years later. This problem showed that attractiveness for mosquitoes is a constant factor that does not change with the passage of time. A different set of olfactory receptors called Orco and IR detect them. In this regard, scientists are trying to engineer mosquitoes in such a way that they are not able to recognize humans; In other words, create mutant mosquitoes that lack one or both receptors
Meanwhile, mutant mosquitoes whose Orco receptor was suppressed were still attracted to humans and could discriminate between mosquito magnets and non-mosquito-attractive individuals, while IR mutants They had lost varying degrees of interest in humans, but still retained the ability to find humans. Of course, these results were not very promising for scientists; Because the purpose of the experiment was to create a mosquito that has lost any interest in humans and cannot distinguish between sample number 19 and 33. In fact, the discovery of such a mechanism could lead to the development of more effective mosquito repellents.Considering the lack of success in applying mutations to suppress the Orco and IR receptors in mosquitoes, it is a bit difficult to imagine a future where we are not the number one option on the mosquito food menu. It has become difficult.
Further Efforts to Reduce the Evil of Mosquito Bites
Given the lack of success of these mutations, it is a bit difficult to imagine a future where we are not the number one option on the mosquito menu. But there are always other ways to solve a problem, one of which is the possible way to manipulate our skin microbiomes. In fact, it is possible that impregnating the skin of a person with high attractiveness for mosquitoes (such as subject number 33) with sebum and skin bacteria of a less attractive person for mosquitoes (such as subject number 19) can reduce the interest of mosquitoes in this category of people; But this test has not been done yet! The scientists of the study hope that this paper will encourage other researchers to test other mosquito species, including malaria, which has caused a lot of trouble for humans.
Ways away from insects when traveling and camping
Maybe you are one of those people who, due to your attraction and high popularity among female mosquitoes, You have decided to stop camping in the wild! In such a case, we recommend that you replace this decision with better solutions and try using anti-insect and mosquito sprays and lights. You can apply permanent insect repellent spray or ointment on your clothes and parts of your body that are not covered and be safe from the bites of these insects. Remember that most insects in travel and camping are active at sunrise and sunset; So in these times you need maximum protection against insects. In such a case, the presence of an insect repellant spray and turning on the insect repellant lamp can make your trip comfortable and far from natural troubles.Buy an insect repellant spray from SafirSoft Buy an insect repellant travel lamp from SafirSoft
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Source: Science Daily