Behavioural and electrophysiological responses of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae Giles sensu stricto (Diptera: Culicidae) to human skin emanations

Authors


*Willem Takken. Tel.: +31 317 484652; fax: +31 317 484821; e-mail: willem.takken@wur.nl

Abstract

Abstract.  Behavioural and electrophysiological responses of Anopheles gambiae Giles sensu stricto (Diptera: Culicidae) to human skin emanations collected on glass beads were studied using a dual-port olfactometer and electroantannography. Glass beads to which skin emanations from human hands had been transferred elicited a level of attraction similar to a human hand. The attractiveness of these handled glass beads faded away 4 h after transfer onto the beads. Storage at −20°C for up to 8 weeks showed a decreased but still attractive effect of the beads. In a choice test between one individual and four others, the emanations from the reference individual were significantly more attractive in three out of four cases. The headspace of handled glass beads elicited a dose-dependent EAG response. The substances causing EAG activity could be removed partially by dichloromethane, ethanol and pentane-ether. Glass beads provide a suitable neutral substrate for the transfer of human odour to enable chemical analysis of the human skin emanations for identification of kairomones of anthropophilic mosquitoes.

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