New research, conducted by Swedish and Ethiopian scientists, shows that the smell of live chickens could help the fight against malaria as malaria mosquito’s tend to avoid live chickens and other birds.
How the experiments were conducted are perhaps unexpected but they included a volunteer sleeping next to a live chicken in a cage. This method reduced the number of mosquito’s found in nearby traps so much that they are now going to start conducting the experiments on a larger scale.
The experiments also included compounds that have been extracted from chicken feathers.
Mosquito’s use their sense of smell to locate animals or humans to bite, there has to be something in a chickens odour that mosquito’s do not like.
Although deaths from malaria have dropped by 48% in the last 15 years(according to the UN), it is still important to find new ways to prevent the disease from spreading. Last year about 400,000 people died from malaria in Africa.
This research is welcoming news after previous studies have shown that mosquito’s are developing a resistance to insecticide. In a few years we might be able to buy chicken odour mosquito repellent or see a boost in chicken sales in rural Africa where a chicken can be much cheaper to obtain than malaria medicine.
also interesting to read: a soap to repel mosquito’s