A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that one reason why a person suffering from malaria is bitten again by disease-carrying mosquitoes is because they find the patient's smell irresistible.
Researchers at Swiss research institute ETH Zurich conducted their study on a group of mice and found that the malaria parasite, called Plasmodium, produces an irresistible cocktail of odors in the body by mixing various fragrances.
AdvertisementThis cocktail is irresistible to other hungry mosquitoes and the changes occur at the time when the host is highly infectious.
"These findings provide an important proof of concept regarding the identification of volatile biomarkers of malarial infection and the specific compounds identified should be viewed as promising candidates for further investigation, with work on malaria-induced changes in the odors of human subjects being an obvious priority for further research", the researchers wrote in their report.
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