Impact of skin bacteria on mosquito host finding and on host infection with mosquito-borne viruses

01 January 2023 → 31 December 2026
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Characterisation of biologically active (macro)molecules
    • Invertebrate biology
    • Microbiomes
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Virology
Infection of the host with a mosquito-borne virus Skin bacteria Attraction of mosquito to the host
Project description

Mosquitoes can transmit pathogens when they bite us, and these can cause diseases that are a substantial threat to the health of humans and animals worldwide. Some people are more attractive to mosquitoes than others, and this difference is related to how our skin smells. We have collected evidence that much of the smell from our skin, comes in fact from the beneficial bacteria that we have on our skin. Our recent results also show that certain bacteria, characteristic of our skin, can play a significant role in determining the severity of diseases transmitted through a mosquito bite. The goal of this research project is to significantly decrease human and animal attractiveness to mosquitoes by altering the composition of the bacteria on our skin. We will use innovative methodology to selectively kill bacteria that makes us attractive to mosquitoes, and consequently reduce pathogen transmission and disease.