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Nature. 2004 Jan 15;427(6971):212-3.

Olfaction: mosquito receptor for human-sweat odorant.

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  • 1Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


Female Anopheles mosquitoes, the world's most important vector of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, locate their human hosts primarily through olfactory cues, but the molecular mechanisms that underlie this recognition are a mystery. Here we show that the Anopheles gambiae protein AgOr1, a female-specific member of a family of putative odorant receptors, responds to a component of human sweat. Compounds designed to activate or block receptors of this type could function as attractants for trapping mosquitoes or as insect repellents in helping to control Anopheles and other insect pests.

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