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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343292

Research Project: Biting Arthropod Surveillance and Control

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Title: Novel collection method for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from dogs

item HOLDERMAN, CHRIS - Kansas State University
item KAUFMAN, PHILLIP - University Of Florida
item BOOTH, MATTHEW - University Of Florida
item Bernier, Ulrich

Submitted to: Journal of Chromatography B
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/25/2017
Publication Date: 9/1/2017
Citation: Holderman, C., Kaufman, P., Booth, M., Bernier, U.R. 2017. Novel collection method for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from dogs. Journal of Chromatography B. 1061-1062:1-4.

Interpretive Summary: Dogs are at risk getting dog heartworm disease from the bite of a mosquito. Mosquitoes locate dogs partly through the smells from chemical compounds on the skin of dogs. The compounds that allow the mosquitoes to find the dogs are not known. In this study, ARS researchers in Gainesville, Florida in collaboration with scientists at the University of Florida developed a method to collect airborne chemicals coming from the skin of dogs. The chemicals from four dogs were analyzed. Of the 182 chemicals identified, 41 of these were common to the four dogs in the study. This study will help researchers identify the chemicals that make dogs attractive to mosquitoes as well as help identify if some breeds of dogs are more attractive to mosquitoes.

Technical Abstract: Host derived chemical cues are an important aspect of arthropod attraction to potential hosts. Host cues that act over longer distances include CO2, heat, and water vapor, while cues such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) act over closer distances. Domestic dogs are important hosts for disease cycles that include dog heartworm disease vectored by mosquitoes, however the host VOCs utilized by vectors are not well known. Herein we present a novel method that sampled VOCs from a dog host. A Tenax TD stainless steel tube was held near a dog’s fur and skin, which collected VOCs that were later desorbed and tentatively identified using a gas chromatograph–mass spectrospectrometer (GC–MS). Background air chemicals were subtracted from the dog sample, resulting in 182 differentiated compounds, a majority of which were identified by ionization fragmentation patterns. Four dogs were sampled and shared 41 of the identified chemicals. VOCs were representative of aliphatics, aromatics, aldehydes, alcohols and carboxylic acids. This chemical characterization method has the potential to identify both individuals and breeds of dogs in addition to other potential uses such as disease diagnosis.