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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-11

Human and plant volatiles; lures for mosquito, vectors of dengue virus and malaria

The University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Correspondence Address:
Eunice A Owino
The University of Nairobi, P.O BOX 30197–00100, Nairobi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.318313

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Increased outbreaks of mosquito borne diseases like the deadly parasitic disease, malaria and arboviruses like Zika, yellow fever and dengue viruses around the world have led to increased interest in traps that could effectively be used against mosquitoes. For example, a Google search at the time of this writing, asking, ‘which is the best way of trapping mosquitoes?’ produced 35.5 million search results. Regardless of the interest in the subject, scientists have yet to find a definitive answer to these questions. One area that has been exploited as a potential source of efficient traps for mosquitoes is host odour baits. Since mosquitoes are attracted to their hosts through odours produced by the hosts, it’s highly likely that synthetic chemical blends based on host odours could provide a solution. Most mosquito species have 2 hosts: vertebrate animals and vascular plants. Amongst the vertebrates, most diseases spread by mosquitoes are to humans. Considerable research has therefore been conducted on human odours that elicit attraction in mosquitoes, with emphasis on compounds from sweat and skin. Interest on plant volatiles is currently gathering pace because unlike human odours that only attract host seeking female mosquitoes, plant odours can attract both male and female mosquitoes of all gonotrophic stages. This review article concentrates on some of the chemical compounds in human and plant host odours that have shown a potential as attractants to mosquitoes especially Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae s.l.

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