Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Only some mosquitos prefer human blood, but more are expected to join

Mosquitoes are now ubiquitous in the humans surrounding with their rage for humans blood. Everyone hates mosquitoes when it comes to sucking blood or disturbing our night’s sleep by buzzing near our ears. Nevertheless, out of the total 3,500 mosquito species present worldwide, only some have chosen to take humans as their meal. But questions come in the first place why did some of them choose humans over all other species. Researchers were keen to study this evolutionary fact and found out two major factors are responsible for it. The findings published on the Current Biology stated that “dry climate” and “city life” are two main factors, and we can expect more species to turn towards human blood because of it.

The study was based on the African continent’s sub-Saharan region, where the preference of the mosquitoes varies between animals and humans. They found that mosquitoes living near the human population have a strong preference for human blood. Even more, stronger preference is seen during dry periods of the year. While already said, the fact that most mosquitoes are thought of as pests, only some of them tend to live on humans.

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The study

The main question of why only some developed a taste for humans was answered by collecting Aedes aegyptii in 27 sub-Saharan locations where mosquitoes still prefer animals. These collected eggs were tested for their preference of animals and human scents. From this, scientists found two amazing facts about why they prefer human blood. Firstly, it was found that mosquitoes from closeby urban areas prefer mostly human blood than animals. But this applies to densely populated modern cities, and so an extensive study is needed to prove this.

In addition to this, mosquitoes in the hotter and drier areas prefer human blood rather than animal counterparts. Researchers say that few genes concentrated in the genome have led their biting preferences. More driving forces like urbanization and climate change are said to change the genome more. Thus, this leads to more mosquitoes preferring human blood rather than animal blood.

This will not be a great sight for the upcoming future. Researchers will still be studying more about the preferences of mosquitoes to get a better understanding of the future.

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Source: Phys.org

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