Do you frequently wonder if you are more susceptible to mosquito or bug bites than others? Do you encounter circumstances where you have to fend off those annoying buzzers all the time, despite the fact that nobody else appears to care? It’s possible that you act as a ‘mosquito magnet’. You may even have a large following of devoted mosquitoes.
What is a mosquito magnet?
Who gets bitten more is the subject of a lot of legend, although not all of the assertions are well-supported. However, a recent research has discovered that certain people actually are ‘mosquito magnets,’ and it probably has to do with how they smell. People who are most appealing to mosquitoes create a lot of certain molecules on their skin that are connected to scent, according to research from New York’s Rockefeller University. Furthermore, the bloodsuckers stick with their preferences over time, which is terrible news for mosquito magnets.
According to the research, which was published on Tuesday in the journal Cell, ‘Mosquito magnets’ possessed high quantities of certain acids in their skin. According to neurobiologist Leslie Vosshall of Rockefeller University in New York, these ‘sticky molecules’ are a component of the skin’s natural moisturising layer and are produced in varying amounts by various individuals. The good bacteria on our skin consume these acids and contribute to the olfactory profile of our skin.
The researchers devised an experiment that pitted participants’ odours against one another to evaluate mosquito magnetism. 64 individuals were instructed to wear nylon stockings around their forearms so the researchers could smell their skin. A large number of mosquitoes were let out after the stockings were placed in different traps at the end of a long tube. The largest mosquito magnet was ultimately around 100 times more tempting to the insects than the least attractive fragrance. The mosquitoes flocked to the most alluring aromas.
For the experiment, the researchers employed groups of Aedes aegypti mosquitos. These are the same mosquitoes that transmit illnesses including dengue, Zika, and yellow fever. While comparable outcomes from similar testing with different insects are anticipated, more study is required to identify any specificities, if any. The study demonstrated that these significant differences endure by assessing the same subjects over an extended period of time, according to Matt DeGennaro, a neurogeneticist at Florida International University who was not involved in the study.
Mosquito bites and their tendency to bite particular people have come under scrutiny. Previous studies have revealed that certain mosquito species can have unique blood type preferences. According to a study titled Host-seeking behaviour and fecundity of female Aedes aegypti to human blood types, the Anopheles gambiae mosquito prefers type AB whereas the Aedes albopictus mosquito prefers type O. The latest study, however, demonstrated that this is incorrect: Scientists also performed the experiment using mosquitoes whose DNA had been altered to impair their sense of smell. The same mosquito magnets attracted insects as before.