Friday, April 2, 2010

Can drinking beer lead to malaria?

Apparently people that drink beer are more appealing to mosquitoes than people that drink water. This is the finding of a study that appeared in PLoS one. Subject either drank 1 litre of water or dolo. Dolo is a fermented sorghum beverage of about 3% ABV. Mosquitoes were more attracted to the body odour of dolo drinkers than water drinkers. This increased attractiveness of beer drinkers is apparently a new risk factor for contracting malaria.

The reason for this was not clear. It was thought that beer drinking increased certain odours that are attractive to mosquitoes. It was not due to increased body temperature or increased CO2 respiration. Apparently an increased body temperature also attracts bugs, that is why pregnant women tend get bit more.

The question for Canadians is whether a better bug catcher is a buddy sauced on Blue or some gadget from Canadian Tire? And will beer drinking increase your risk of becoming infected with the west nile virus? Maybe I will drink beer indoors.

No comments: