The Sciences

NCBI ROFL: Beer Consumption Increases Human Attractiveness to Malaria Mosquitoes.

DiscoblogBy ncbi roflMar 9, 2010 12:00 AM
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"Malaria and alcohol consumption both represent major public health problems. Alcohol consumption is rising in developing countries and, as efforts to manage malaria are expanded, understanding the links between malaria and alcohol consumption becomes crucial. Our aim was to ascertain the effect of beer consumption on human attractiveness to malaria mosquitoes in semi field conditions in Burkina Faso. We used a Y tube-olfactometer designed to take advantage of the whole body odour (breath and skin emanations) as a stimulus to gauge human attractiveness to Anopheles gambiae (the primary African malaria vector) before and after volunteers consumed either beer (n = 25 volunteers and a total of 2500 mosquitoes tested) or water (n = 18 volunteers and a total of 1800 mosquitoes). Water consumption had no effect on human attractiveness to An. gambiae mosquitoes, but beer consumption increased volunteer attractiveness. Body odours of volunteers who consumed beer increased mosquito activation (proportion of mosquitoes engaging in take-off and up-wind flight) and orientation (proportion of mosquitoes flying towards volunteers' odours). The level of exhaled carbon dioxide and body temperature had no effect on human attractiveness to mosquitoes. Despite individual volunteer variation, beer consumption consistently increased attractiveness to mosquitoes. These results suggest that beer consumption is a risk factor for malaria and needs to be integrated into public health policies for the design of control measures."

Thanks to Amy for today's ROFL! Related content: Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Beer goggles proven to exist; "beer before liquor, get sick quicker" hypothesis remains untested. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Beer consumption and the 'beer belly': scientific basis or common belief? Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Shrew pursue taboo dew brew. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: ethanol

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