Submitted to: Journal of Medical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Mosquitoes are important because they transmit diseases such as malaria, encephalitis, and filariasis to humans and domestic animals. Often, however, mosquito traps are not sensitive enough to determine if disease-carrying mosquitoes are present in an area were humans or livestock are located. For this reason, scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL are searching for chemical attractants that can be used to increase the sensitivity of existing mosquito surveillance and monitoring devices. Candidate attractants for this purpose come from many different sources, including volatile skin products from human beings; about 350 such skin chemicals have been collected and identified by Gainesville scientists thus far. A triple cage olfactometer was designed and tested to determine if any of the chemicals identified so far are attractive to mosquitoes. When new mosquito attractants are identified using this olfactometer, they will be used in mosquito traps for the early detection of disease carrying mosquitoes. Early detection of such mosquitoes will allow animal and public health agencies to take appropriate and timely emergency mosquito control action.
Technical Abstract: A triple cage olfactometer for evaluating mosquito attraction response is described. The unit is constructed of clear acrylic, comprises three test chambers in a tiered configuration, has paired removable sleeves and mosquito traps, and is equipped with an external air supply system that has temperature and relative humidity control.