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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #289066

Title: Mode of action of mosquito repellents

item Dickens, Joseph
item Bohbot, Jonathan

Submitted to: Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/11/2013
Publication Date: 2/27/2013
Citation: Dickens, J.C., Bohbot, J.D. 2013. Mode of action of mosquito repellents. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. 106(2013):149-155.

Interpretive Summary: Repellents are important tools for protection of humans from diseases transmitted by mosquitoes such as malaria, dengue fever and West Nile. Here we discuss current ideas about how insect repellents have their effects on both the senses of smell and taste in the mosquito. We then describe how recent discoveries on the molecular mode of action of repellents might be used to discover new compounds with novel or enhanced activity. This synthesis or current knowledge of the mode of action of repellents may be used by entomologists and molecular biologists to screen chemicals in an effort to discover new repellents for protection of humans and animals from disease vectors.

Technical Abstract: The mode of action of mosquito repellents remains a controversial topic. However, electrophysiological studies and molecular approaches have provided a better understanding of how repellents exert their effects. Here, we briefly discuss various notions of repellent action and present the current status of knowledge of the effects of repellents on olfactory and gustatory processes. These findings provide a framework for further development of existing repellents and the discovery of new compounds with novel modes of action.