In the hot season , like the one we are currently experiencing, it is very common for the mosquitoes . Those annoying insects that in addition to making us sleepless nights for their incessant buzz, when they bite us leave behind annoying welts causing itch and a terrible discomfort . But not only that, these bugs are responsible for the transmission of deadly diseases such as dengue and malaria.
The mosquitoes they are capable of smelling humans, it is because of them that they are constantly lurking, like predators watching their prey. They wait for the right moment to take us unawares and then they launch their attack against any part of our body that is discovered, they introduce their thin and thin sting and absorb our blood . Fortunately, scientists from the University of California , in Riverside, they created a compound that interferes with the olfactory ability of mosquitoes. This progress could lead to the development of a new generation of repellents and insecticides .
This could prevent diseases spread by mosquito bite , such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever, which result in several million deaths each year in the world.
As the scientists explain in the magazine Nature, to find a human guest who to bite to spread a parasite , mosquitoes essentially use the smell of carbon dioxide that exhale humans. The insect can detect tiny changes in the concentrations of this gas and track it to where it is located. human breath .
This mechanism was already known and scientists have been looking for ways to interfere with this insect detection machinery in order to control the spread of parasitic diseases they transmit.
Now, the teacher Anandasankar Ray and his team, identified in the laboratory three kinds of odor molecules what do they say, they can block almost completely detecting the mosquito's carbon dioxide.
To prove this, they tested the substances with three mosquito species:Anopheles gambiae (which spreads malaria), theCulex quinquefasciatus (which spreads filariasis and West Nile virus) and theAedes aegypti (Dengue fever and yellow fever). It is estimated that only these three species spread diseases to more than 500 million people each year and cause several million deaths.
The substances that the teacher identified Ray they work by blocking the insect's carbon dioxide receptors, which are located in microscopic appendages in the antennae near the mouth of the animal.
The compounds they created are three: inhibitors , which inhibit the carbon dioxide receptor; imitators , which simulate carbon dioxide and can be used as traps to attract the insect away from humans.
And the third type are blinders , which cause an excessively prolonged activation of carbon dioxide sensors by tricking the mosquito into believing that it is surrounded by huge amounts of gas and can not detect where to go.
"These chemicals offer powerful advantages as potential tools to reduce the contact between human and mosquito" explains the professor Ray .
Source: BBC World