Research from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has found, for the first time, an underlying genetic component to how attractive we are to mosquitoes.
The findings build on previous research where it was shown that attractiveness to insects is based on differences in body odour. People who are less attractive to mosquitoes produce natural repellents, and it seems that this trait is genetically controlled. In this most recent study – which was led by Dr James Logan, Senior Lecturer in Medical Entomology at the School – a series of trials using 18 identical and 19 non-identical female twins showed that identical twin pairs were more similar in attractiveness to mosquitoes than non-identical twin pairs. The extent to which genes play a part – the level of heritability – in the trait for being attractive or not to mosquitoes was found to be at a similar level (0.83) as that associated with height (0.8) and IQ (0.5-0.8).
Read more about the findings here or watch Dr Logan discuss the study below: