To maximize infectiousness, the Plasmodii would then manipulate infected mosquitoes to ignore that smell and feed on uninfected humans...
The next time I go on a nature walk I am going to soak myself in a bathtub full of bleach first, I'll be invisible.
I am a person who mosquitoes love to bite but I don't have any disease (that I know off). My wife can lay next to me and not get a single bite while I am fighting them off left and right. I wonder what else can contribute to this difference.
If that theory indeed is true I think CO2 is just a rough guide to find the approximate location (within meters) of something alive with blood. I think once close other guidance systems might take over.
My above opinion isn't worth much, but the CO2 hypothesis seems pretty limited to me?
"Both Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes — which transmitdengue and malaria respectively — were much less attracted to the scented beads after being exposed to the chemical. These results showed that the receptor responsible for detecting carbon dioxide also detects skin odorants."
And thermal features:
In the cold, dry air of winter your breath vents upward, but getting near sunny 90 degree weather, during summer time, it might descend and pool at the feet of gatherings of people at barbecues.
Carbon dioxide in ambient, matched temperature mixtures tends to be dense, and sinks toward the floor in many conditions (similarly true for carbon monoxide), but local conditions obviously vary, and odor travels differently than entire air masses. If mosquitos are already out, they probably travel along the odor gradient, toward the most concentrated area of scent.
The problem is people don't see "air", but there are ways to visualize it (e.g. Schlieren photography). Or just watch smoke.
This seems more probable than increased amounts of CO2 floating around your feet and ankles, especially if you are laying next to you wife where the aggregate CO2 from both of you breathing will be distributed fairly evenly between you.
A quote from tomkinistinch's linked article: "...washing the feet with a bactericidal soap significantly alters the selection of biting sites...".
I wish we were at a point technologically where it would be simple(and cheap) for a person to detect and catalog things like VOCs that skin bacteria produce, or quantities of bacteria on the skin to determine how they correlate with something like mosquito attraction.
It would be pretty great to be able to say definitively that x bacteria concentrations on your skin are attracting mosquitoes to you, rather than simply conceding "mosquitoes love to bite me".
I believe different attractors are weighted more strongly in different types of mosquitoes too. Some prefer co2, some heat, other detect compounds in sweat or exhaled gases, like the aldehydes from bananas!
> The Extended Phenotype is a 1982 book by Richard Dawkins, in which the author introduced a biological concept of the same name. The main idea is that phenotype should not be limited to biological processes such as protein biosynthesis or tissue growth, but extended to include all effects that a gene has on its environment, inside or outside the body of the individual organism.
Totally unrelated mosquito story: A friend of mine told me about a time he was laying down resting on a hot day with a fan blowing over him to keep mosquitoes away. He watched a mozzy land in the lee of his body and walk towards him.
the notion that ingesting certain products like B vitamins (or garlic, for that matter) might repel mosquitoes is common, but unfounded. Based on scientific studies I was able to dig up, B vitamins are not effective mosquito repellants, and vitamin B12, specifically, is not well-studied.
What scientists know more about is another B vitamin - B1 - also known as thiamine. As part of a larger survey of effective mosquito repellants, a 2002 study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that, "No ingested compound, including garlic and thiamine (vitamin B1), has been found to be capable of repelling biting arthropods."
My wife always claims to be a mosquito magnet, but I have thought about it in various situations like camping and touring the tropics. I am not sure if she is getting harassed more than me, or if she just reacts more strongly to all the bites. Some of my bites are very mild, and I could believe that there might be more that I don't even notice.
I used to live near a creek where there were lots of mosquitoes, and when my roommates and I could go from the car to the house on a bad day, most of us would get bitten 0-1 times, and one would get bitten 3+