Mosquitoes distinguish people from animals by their odor

June 7, 2022

A study published in the scientific journal Nature on May 4, 2022, has discovered a way on how mosquitoes distinguish people from animals.

"An NIH-funded research team at Princeton University set out to investigate how these mosquitoes distinguish human odors from those of other animals. The team was led by Dr. Zhilei Zhao, now at Cornell University, and Dr. Carolyn S. McBride."

"Human and animal odors activated distinct combinations of glomeruli in the antennal lobe of the mosquito brain. "."When the researchers analyzed the components of the different odors, they identified a uniquely human bouquet that could be distinguished by the combination of a small but diverse set of compounds."

"The team confirmed that mosquitoes were attracted to a synthetic mix the scientists made of the compounds that activated the human-detecting glomerulus. "

Source: NIH

How mosquitoes distinguish people from animals

For further reading, you can find the original study hereMosquito brains encode unique features of human odour to drive host seeking. Zhao Z, Zung JL, Hinze A, Kriete AL, Iqbal A, Younger MA, Matthews BJ, Merhof D, Thiberge S, Ignell R, Strauch M, McBride CS. Nature. 2022 May;605(7911):706-712. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04675-4. Epub 2022 May 4. PMID: 35508661.

Funding: NIH’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID); Swedish Research Council; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences; German Research Foundation; Pew Scholar Award; Searle Scholar Award; Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship; Rosalind Franklin New Investigator Award; New York Stem Cell Foundation.