Odours of Plasmodium falciparum-infected participants influence mosquito-host interactions
SourceScientific Reports, 7, (2017), article 9283
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
SubjectRadboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Malaria parasites are thought to influence mosquito attraction to human hosts, a phenomenon that may enhance parasite transmission. This is likely mediated by alterations in host odour because of its importance in mosquito host-searching behaviour. Here, we report that the human skin odour profile is affected by malaria infection. We compared the chemical composition and attractiveness to Anopheles coluzzii mosquitoes of skin odours from participants that were infected by Controlled Human Malaria Infection with Plasmodium falciparum. Skin odour composition differed between parasitologically negative and positive samples, with positive samples collected on average two days after parasites emerged from the liver into the blood, being associated with low densities of asexual parasites and the absence of gametocytes. We found a significant reduction in mosquito attraction to skin odour during infection for one experiment, but not in a second experiment, possibly due to differences in parasite strain. However, it does raise the possibility that infection can affect mosquito behaviour. Indeed, several volatile compounds were identified that can influence mosquito behaviour, including 2- and 3-methylbutanal, 3-hydroxy-2-butanone, and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one. To better understand the impact of our findings on Plasmodium transmission, controlled studies are needed in participants with gametocytes and higher parasite densities.
Upload full text