Mosquito repellents are used around the globe to protect against nuisance biting and disease-transmitting mosquitoes. Recently, there has been renewed interest in the development of repellents as tools to control the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases. We present a new bioassay for the accurate assessment of candidate repellent compounds, using a synthetic odour that mimics the odour blend released by human skin. Using DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) and PMD (p-menthane-3,8-diol) as reference compounds, nine candidate repellents were tested, of which five showed significant repellency to the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto (Diptera: Culicidae). These included: 2-nonanone; 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one; linalool; d-decalactone, and d-undecalactone. The lactones were also tested on the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti (Stegomyia aegypti) (Diptera: Culicidae), against which they showed similar degrees of repellency. We conclude that the lactones are highly promising repellents, particularly because these compounds are pleasant-smelling, natural products that are also present in human food sources.
- malaria mosquito
- human skin