Exposure to light may help prevent mosquitoes to bite 

Dhaka,  Sun,  24 September 2017
Published : 19 Jun 2017, 17:04:33
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Exposure to light may help prevent mosquitoes to bite 

Mosquito borne diseases have been a cause of concern, particularly in the recent years with malaria and dengue cases increasing alarmingly. While there are different safety measures that can be adopted to protect people from mosquito bites, it is a challenge because everybody needs to be on constant alert. 

A surprising fact is that mosquitoes are also adapting to the preventive measures. Insecticide-treated bed nets and walls do help prevent bites, but not all the time. Adults and children are vulnerable in the early evening and early morning hours when they are not under the nets or in the house.

In the case of Malaria mosquitoes, critical behaviours such as feeding, egg-laying and flying are time-of-day specific, including a greater propensity for night-time biting.

The researchers have discovered a phenomenon that can effectively reduce bites and malaria. They found that exposure to just 10 minutes of light at night suppresses biting and manipulates flight behaviour of malaria mosquitoes. 

The findings suggest that light can be used to manipulate mosquitoes. For the study, a team tested the mosquitoes' preference to bite during their active host-seeking period by separating them into multiple control and test batches.

Control mosquitoes were kept in the dark, while test batches were exposed to a pulse of white light for 10 minutes. Researchers then tested the propensity of the mosquitoes to bite immediately after the pulse and every two hours throughout the night, holding their arms to a mesh lining that allowed uninfected mosquitoes to feed while remaining contained.

Results indicated a significant suppression. In another experiment, mosquitoes were pulsed with light every two hours, and using this multiple pulse approach the team found that biting could be suppressed during a large portion of the 12-hour night, according to a media report.

 
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