Saturday, January 2, 2010

Nonanal (odour produced in humans and birds) - an attractant for the Culex mosquito ?

In continuation of my update on developments in mosquito repellents,  I  found this  interesting info. In  my earlier blog, I mentioned that carbon dioxide   emitted in human  breath  is  the main  attractant  for the    Culex mosquito to find people, aiding the transmission of these deadly diseases. Now scientists from University of California, Davis, have identified the dominant odor naturally produced in humans and birds that attracts the blood-feeding Culex mosquitoes, which transmit West Nile virus and other life-threatening diseases. As per the claim by the researchers, Nonanal (nonanaldehyde or pelargonaldehyde see below structure) is the powerful semiochemical that triggers the mosquitoes' keen sense of smell, directing them toward a blood meal. A semiochemical is a chemical substance or mixture that carries a message.The antennae of the Culex quinquefasciatus are highly developed to detect even extremely low concentrations of nonanal. Mosquitoes detect smells with the olfactory receptor neurons of their antennae.

The UC Davis researchers tested hundreds of naturally occurring compounds emitted by people and birds. They collected chemical odors from 16 adult human subjects, representing multiple races and ethnic groups. More interestingly, Leal and Syed found that nonanal acts synergistically with carbon dioxide, a known mosquito attractant.  Nonanal, in combination with carbon dioxide, increased trap captures by more than 50 percent, compared to traps baited with carbon dioxide alone. Hope this discovery will help those searching for cheaper, environment friendly  repellents.

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1 comment:

Dreatori Alexis said...

Culex mosquitoes are like hound dogs that can track its prey from anywhere. I just read that Basil acts as natural insect repellent. Planting it around the house can prevent mosquitoes from getting in your house.

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