Mosquito Magnets: Why do mosquitoes bite some people more? There is a scientific reason behind this, know

New Delhi: Are you always more prone to mosquito bites than others around you? If yes, have you ever thought why is it so? Your blood group can be the reason for this. Blood type as well as many other factors determine how attractive you are to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are the cause of spread of various dangerous diseases like Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya and Zika. Scientists have identified that blood type is one reason why mosquitoes are more attracted to some people than others.

What are the different blood types?
A protein (antigen) is present on the surface of each red blood cell, which helps in determining the blood type. Dr. Amitav Ray, General Physician, Apollo 24×7 explains that there are four different blood types.

A: This blood type has only A antigen on the surface of red blood cells.
B: This blood type has only B antigen on the surface of red blood cells.
AB:This blood type has A and B antigens on the surface of red blood cells.
O: In this blood type, there is no antigen on the surface of the red blood cells.

In some people, known as secretors, these antigens are also present in body fluids other than tears or saliva. For example, a person with blood group B would be a type B secretary. People with blood group O secrete H antigen, which is a combination of both A and B antigens.

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What is the relation between mosquito bite and blood type?
Researchers and scientists have been trying to understand the behavior and patterns of mosquitoes for decades. In general, mosquitoes prefer to bite people with O blood group than people with other blood types. Also mosquitoes are more attracted to secretors than non-secretors, irrespective of their blood type. A study has shown that some species of mosquitoes are doubly attracted to people with O blood group. Dr Ray says, ‘O is the preferred blood type of mosquitoes and A is the least preferred. Those with B blood type fall somewhere in between the O and A spectrum.

What other factors attract mosquitoes?
Besides your blood type, several other factors affect how attractive you are to mosquitoes. Dr. Ray explains some other factors:

body odor
If mosquitoes like the smell of your body, then you will become their favorite target. Some of the major factors affecting your body odor include…

compounds in the skin
body heat

carbon di oxide
When you exhale, you release carbon dioxide, which is followed by mosquitoes. Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the air tell mosquitoes that potential prey is nearby.

metabolic rate
If your metabolic rate is high, you will produce more carbon dioxide, which will make you more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes. This means that people who have a high metabolic rate or have exercised recently are more attractive targets for mosquito bites.

A study conducted in 2002 showed that mosquitoes are more attracted to people who have been drinking alcohol. The study participants were bitten more often by mosquitoes after drinking beer.

Another study found that mosquitoes are more attracted to pregnant women than non-pregnant women. This could be because the body temperature and metabolic rate of pregnant women are high.

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Apart from being disturbed by mosquito bites, many serious diseases can also occur. If your blood type is O, you are a favorite target for mosquitoes, making it all the more important to protect yourself. Even if your blood type is different from O, many other factors can attract mosquitoes to you. Hence, it is advised to keep mosquito repellent cream at hand and be fully clothed to keep mosquito borne diseases at bay.

Tags: health benefits, Lifestyle, mosquitoes

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