hepatitis-mosquitoes

Peter W Pappas ppappas at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu
Mon Apr 4 07:07:11 EST 1994


In article <94093.104751F46053 at vm.biu.ac.il>,
Yitzhak Berman  <F46053 at vm.biu.ac.il> wrote:
>I am interested in receiving information which would either
>verify or negate an observation I made regarding the
>relationship between hepatitis and mosquitoes.
>
>My two year old grandaughter, Shlomit, spent a night in our
>home without getting a single mosquito bite while her one
>year old sister, Herut, sleeping in the same room was badly
>bitten. Shlomit was diagnosed as having hepatitis A one day
>later.  It appeared that the mosquitoes "knew" that Shlomit
>had hepatitis and were uninterested in her blood.
>
>I would be interested in hearing about any similar event
>which demonstrates that children with hepatitis do not get
>mosquitoe bites, or evidence negating that hypothesis.
>
>Would anybody have an hypothesis which would explain the
>phenomenon of mosquitoes' disinterest in children with
>hepatitis?
>
>
>Yitzhak Berman
>
>F46053 at BARILVM

Yitzak Berman raises a very interesting question here, one for which there 
could be many different answers.  Maybe one daughter was just sleeping closer 
to an open window, or maybe the two daughters use different kinds of soap or
perfume (and smell differently to mosquitoes).  An even more interesting
question, however, is of what selective advantage would it be for mosquitoes to
avoid the blood from someone with hepatitis?  If there is no selective 
advantage, then Berman's observation, while interesting, may be of no 
biological significance.
-- 
Peter W. Pappas, Professor/Chairperson, Department of Zoology,
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH  43210  USA
E-mail: pappas.3 at osu.edu; FAX (614)-292-2030,
PHONE (614)-292-8088



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