Scientists plan to develop mosquito repellants resembling human body odour which the insect dislikes.
They have chemicals that resemble the odour of people who don't get bitten. By this technique they plan to improve controls to prevent the spread of insect-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever in developing countries. Some people produce repelling odour and hence don't get bitten by mosquitoes. Professor John Pickett of Rothamsted Research, a charitable scientific trust in England said that these odours convey the message to the insect that the particular human host is not suitable.
AdvertisementPickett and researchers from Aberdeen University in Scotland identified the odour that the mosquitoes can detect by the technique known as gas chromatography-electroantennography. These are then compared to the components present in the commercially available insect repellents which are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). Apart from mosquito repellants they are also carrying research with respect to tics and other disease-carrying insects. The initial experimental results are to be published in the scientific journal. But the scientists are still working on formulations for the repellent to ensure it lasts for a long time.