Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others


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Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others



Mosquitoes are attracted to me and it’s likely due to my genes.
This video is sponsored by 23andMe https://23andme.com/veritasium
Huge thanks to Prof. Immo Hansen and team: http://ve42.co/hansen

References:
Genome Wide Association Study for self-reported mosquito attractiveness:
http://ve42.co/MossieGWAS

The twin study showing correlated attractiveness is stronger for identical twins:
http://ve42.co/MossieTwins

Some things we know make mosquitoes more attracted to you:
Exercising, higher metabolism, higher body temperature, more body odor, being pregnant, type O blood, infrequent bathing, lactic acid, ammonia, acetone.

There are a number of folk remedies people believe protect them from mosquito bites like drinking alcohol, eating garlic, or taking vitamin B. These do not appear to provide any benefit in lab studies and in fact drinking alcohol is associated with increased mosquito activity because it causes blood vessels near the surface of the skin to dilate.

And apparently some of your attractiveness to mosquitos is simply genetic. This may be mediated through your immune system, which is what a lot of the genes identified were associated with.

Molecular models are microSnatoms: http://snatoms.com

Filming in New Mexico by Raquel Nuno
Animations by Jacqui Robertson

The opinions and conclusions drawn in this video are those of Veritasium and not 23andMe.

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29 Comments

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  1. I get bit all the time and also react really bad to mosquito bites. I have like 15 scars on my legs and about 6 on my arms. Even though I try not to scratch, but no itch medicine works and after days of constant itching feeling and not being about to sleep/sit without being in pain and need to itch you would itch to. I told my doctor and even she was surprised how no medicine works, at least over the counter