Navigation Links
No more big stink: scent lures mosquitoes, but humans can't smell it
Date:8/29/2008

DAVIS--Mosquito traps that reek like latrines may be no more.

A University of California, Davis research team led by chemical ecologist Walter Leal has discovered a low-cost, easy-to-prepare attractant that lures blood-fed mosquitoes without making humans hold their noses.

The synthetic mixture, containing compounds trimethylamine and nonanal in low doses, is just as enticing to Culex mosquitoes as the current attractants, Leal said, but this one is odorless to humans.

The research, published in the current edition of the Public Library of Science Journal or PLOS One, could play a key role in surveillance and control programs for Culex species, which transmit such diseases as West Nile virus, encephalitis and lymphatic filariasis.

Oviposition or gravid female traps draw blood-fed mosquitoes ready to lay their eggs, but the chemical- and water-infused traps just plain stink, Leal said. The smell is highly offensive to those monitoring the traps and to people living near them.

That prompted the UC Davis researchers to launch a multidisciplinary approach to find more user-friendly, chemically based lures for gravid Culex mosquitoes.

Their extensive field research in Recife, Brazil, a region known for its high populations of Culex quiquefasciatus, showed that a combination of trimethylamine and nonanal "is equivalent to the currently used infusion-based lure," Leal said, "and superior in that the offensive smell of infusions was eliminated."

The Leal lab searches for attractants in two ways. The first is the conventional chemical ecology approach or finding smells that attract mosquitoes. The second, or what Leal has coined "reverse chemical ecology," involves studying olfaction after identifying attractants.

Mosquito populations are typically monitored with two traps: the conventional carbon dioxide traps and the gravid female trap. Mosquitoes captured in the carbon dioxide traps are less likely to be infected than those in the gravid traps.

"The gravid traps are more important for surveillance," Leal said, "as they capture mosquitoes that have had a blood meal and thus, more opportunity to become infected."

By monitoring gravid traps containing West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes, mosquito and vector control districts and health officials can determine when it is time to spray.

Leal said that another advantage of the gravid traps is that with the capture of one female mosquito, that eliminates not only her, but hundreds of her would-be offspring. "Each female mosquito has the potential to produce about 200 eggs, and she can have as many as five cycles. So when we capture a gravid mosquito, that can remove as many as 500 females."

UC Davis research entomologist William Reisen said sampling Culex species in urban environments can be challenging, but the gravid trap work is crucial.

Because the Southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, feeds on the blood of a wide variety of hosts, the West Nile virus can move rapidly through bird and human populations, according to Reisen.

"Sampling the species in urban environments has been a challenge until studies on its oviposition cues allowed the development of gravid female traps that collect mostly females that previously have blood-fed and, therefore, had a chance to become infected," Reisen.

Leal said the compounds used in the research are "simple and inexpensive" and would be of great benefit "to not only us, but third-world countries where Culex quinquefasciatus is a problem."

The researchers began preliminary field tests in Davis and Sacramento but when aerial sprays mitigated the levels of West Nile virus-infested mosquitoes, they set up traps in Recife, Brazil, a city endemic for lymphatic filariasis.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathy Keatley Garvey
kegarvey@ucdavis.edu
530-754-6894
University of California - Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Good earth: Brown chemists show origin of soil-scented geosmin
2. Squirrels use snake scent
3. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop fluorescent proteins for live cell imaging, biosensor design
4. Fluorescent cells give early warning for eye disease
5. Learning how to say no to alcohol advertising and peer pressure works for inner-city adolescents
6. Adolescent girls with ADHD are at increased risk for eating disorders, study shows
7. SAGE launches new journal -- ICAN: Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition
8. Study supports reason for concern in childhood and adolescent obesity
9. Fluorescent nano-barcodes could revolutionize diagnostics
10. Primates scent speaks volumes about who he is
11. Toxic chemicals found in common scented laundry products, air fresheners
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
No more big stink: scent lures mosquitoes, but humans can't smell it
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016 Checkpoint Inhibitors for ... Market Are you interested in the future ... for checkpoint inhibitors. Visiongain,s report gives those predictions ... and national level. Avoid falling behind in ... opportunities and revenues those emerging cancer therapies can ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016   Parabon NanoLabs ... the U.S. Army Research Office and the Defense ... and sensitivity of the company,s Snapshot Kinship ... Mission and, more generally, defense-related DNA forensics.  Although ... capabilities (predicting appearance and ancestry from DNA evidence), ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... 2016 Rising sales of consumer ... touchfree intuitive gesture control market size ... of consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements to ... size through 2020   --> ... technological advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  Allergan plc (NYSE: ... announced that Brent Saunders , Allergan,s CEO and ... a fireside chat session at the RBC Capital Markets ... p.m. ET at The New York Palace Hotel in ... will be webcast live and can be accessed on ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... SonaCare Medical, LLC ... support program, Sonalinkā„¢ remote monitoring. The inaugural launch of this new technology occurred ... connecting Dr. Samuel Peretsman to a HIFU technical expert at SonaCare Medical headquarters. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 ... ... and design services and current winner of the Highest Overall Customer Rating ... certification in all of its business units across the USA, Canada, Mexico and ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Sunnyvale, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 ... ... will present its latest innovations on its free and validated Electronic Data Capture ... Booth #81 the Outsourcing in Clinical Trials West Coast 2016 Conference in San ...
Breaking Biology Technology: