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Study: Malaria-infected mosquitoes more attracted to human odor
The mosquito of the Anopheles gambiae type transmits malaria.
May 15th, 2013
05:02 PM ET

Study: Malaria-infected mosquitoes more attracted to human odor

We think of malaria as a disease that infects more than 200 million people a year, with transmission happening through mosquito bites.

But it's not entirely the fault of the mosquitoes. Scientists are exploring how the malaria parasite itself may actually change a mosquito's behavior to make it more attracted to humans, as if controlling its mind so that the bug goes after us.

A new study in the journal PLOS One demonstrates, for the first time, that mosquitoes infected with malaria are more attracted to human odor than uninfected mosquitoes. This is only a proof of concept, however; more research needs to be done to confirm.

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