Mosquitoes are cunning little critters! A study at Penn State University observed how these disease spreading pests can pick up on the scent of mice, already infected by malaria. Here’s an article with some further information:-
Study: Mosquitoes Can Smell Malaria
Malaria infection makes mice smell a bit better to mosquitoes, raising the odds that they’ll be bitten and spread the disease. That’s according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research could point the way to a Breathalyzer-style diagnostic test for malaria infection.
It seems we may be a long way from the ‘breathalyzer’ idea, however, it would be beneficial to be able to identify individuals that have the disease and are unaware they have it. The host- parasite relationship is something, as the article says, is “a bit creepy”.
Here’s an interesting video about the malaria parasite and its life cycle in a human host.