Are you a “mosquito magnet”? Find out why some people seem more “appetizing” to the insect | Science

  • A study from an American university published by Jornal Nacional pointed out that Aedes aegypti is attracted to the smell of these substances.

  • The research was conducted in a plastic box where mosquitoes are released and confirmed, over months, the preference for the same individuals (all produced more carboxylic acid).

  • This is a possible genetic trait, which does not depend, for example, on food.

  • In g1, USP Professor Anderson Nunes explained that these insects have molecules capable of detecting odors in their antennae.

Why do some people seem more “appetizing” to mosquitoes?

Some people feel more vulnerable to mosquito bites. The suspicion is real and has a scientific explanation: Individuals that are more attractive to mosquitoes produce higher levels of carboxylic acids.

The result came after a study by the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior at the Rockefeller University, in the United States, which was presented in the Jornal Nacional. THE Aedes aegypti attracted by the smell these acids produce.

“In the antenna of the mosquito, it has some molecules that are capable of recognizing, smelling odors. are receivers. They understand that there is a person nearby. This can also happen, for example, with the secretion of carbon dioxide during respiration and these mosquitoes, so they get their orientation and prefer those people who secrete carboxylic acid and breathe there in that area,” explains Anderson de Sá Nunes, partner. professor from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at USP.

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Aedes aegypti, transmitter of dengue fever. — Photo: Reproduction/TV Gazeta

The American study was carried out in an olfactory meter, a plastic box where mosquitoes are released, and confirmed, over months, the preference for the same candidates. All produced a higher number of carboxylic acid.

Being a “mosquito magnet” is a natural trait, possibly genetic, that will follow you throughout your life. The studies, conducted over months, showed that volunteers who preferred or did not take compared to volunteers remained so, regardless of what they wore, ate or drank.

The study explains why some people attract more mosquitoes than others

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