Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 537600
Title Plasmodium-associated changes in human odor attract mosquitoes
Author(s) Robinson, Ailie; Busula, Annette O.; Voets, Mirjam A.; Beshir, Khalid B.; Caulfield, John C.; Powers, Stephen J.; Verhulst, Niels O.; Winskill, Peter; Muwanguzi, Julian; Birkett, Michael A.; Smallegange, Renate C.; Masiga, Daniel K.; Mukabana, W.R.; Sauerwein, Robert W.; Sutherland, Colin J.; Bousema, Teun; Pickett, John A.; Takken, Willem; Logan, James G.; Boer, Jetske G. De
Source Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115 (2018)18. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. E4209 - E4218.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1721610115
Department(s) Laboratory of Entomology
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Aldehydes - Disease biomarkers - Host attractiveness - Malaria transmission - Parasite–vector–host interactions
Abstract

Malaria parasites (Plasmodium) can change the attractiveness of their vertebrate hosts to Anopheles vectors, leading to a greater number of vector–host contacts and increased transmission. Indeed, naturally Plasmodium-infected children have been shown to attract more mosquitoes than parasite-free children. Here, we demonstrate Plasmodium-induced increases in the attractiveness of skin odor in Kenyan children and reveal quantitative differences in the production of specific odor components in infected vs. parasite-free individuals. We found the aldehydes heptanal, octanal, and nonanal to be produced in greater amounts by infected individuals and detected by mosquito antennae. In behavioral experiments, we demonstrated that these, and other, Plasmodium-induced aldehydes enhanced the attractiveness of a synthetic odor blend mimicking “healthy” human odor. Heptanal alone increased the attractiveness of “parasite-free” natural human odor. Should the increased production of these aldehydes by Plasmodium-infected humans lead to increased mosquito biting in a natural setting, this would likely affect the transmission of malaria.

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