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Smelling your way to food: can bed bugs use our odour?

Harraca, Vincent LU ; Ryne, Camilla LU ; Birgersson, Göran and Ignell, Rickard (2012) In Journal of Experimental Biology 215(4). p.623-629
Abstract
The resurgence in developed countries of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, has led to a search for new sustainable methods to monitor and control this human ectoparasite. Because of increased resistance to insecticides, traps baited with attractive cues are considered a promising method to be developed into efficient monitoring tools for bed bugs. Despite their potential as attractants, only a few studies have investigated the odorant cues implicated in the attraction of bed bugs to human hosts. In this study, we used aeration extracts from human volunteers to assess the role of olfaction in host searching by bed bugs. By coupled gas chromatography and single sensillum recordings on all the antennal sensilla, we measured the... (More)
The resurgence in developed countries of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, has led to a search for new sustainable methods to monitor and control this human ectoparasite. Because of increased resistance to insecticides, traps baited with attractive cues are considered a promising method to be developed into efficient monitoring tools for bed bugs. Despite their potential as attractants, only a few studies have investigated the odorant cues implicated in the attraction of bed bugs to human hosts. In this study, we used aeration extracts from human volunteers to assess the role of olfaction in host searching by bed bugs. By coupled gas chromatography and single sensillum recordings on all the antennal sensilla, we measured the electrophysiological response elicited by the compounds present in our human odour extracts. Only five compounds were clearly detected by the olfactory receptor neurons housed in the smooth-peg sensilla of the bed bugs. We tested the behavioural effect of these extracts in a still-air arena and showed a gradient of repellence linked to the dose, as well as a higher propensity of local search behaviour associated with human odours containing a lower ratio of 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one to C(7)-C(10) aldehydes. We conclude that human odour alone has a weak influence on the behaviour of C. lectularius and we propose that human kairomones may have a significant impact on bed bug behaviour in combination with heat and carbon dioxide, the only two currently known attractive vertebrate cues used by bed bugs for host seeking. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
215
issue
4
pages
623 - 629
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000300185900012
  • pmid:22279069
  • scopus:84856557663
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.065748
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
159c2a6b-e787-4778-ac08-9d278cebc77c (old id 2335995)
date added to LUP
2012-02-06 09:01:42
date last changed
2017-10-08 03:02:21
@article{159c2a6b-e787-4778-ac08-9d278cebc77c,
  abstract     = {The resurgence in developed countries of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, has led to a search for new sustainable methods to monitor and control this human ectoparasite. Because of increased resistance to insecticides, traps baited with attractive cues are considered a promising method to be developed into efficient monitoring tools for bed bugs. Despite their potential as attractants, only a few studies have investigated the odorant cues implicated in the attraction of bed bugs to human hosts. In this study, we used aeration extracts from human volunteers to assess the role of olfaction in host searching by bed bugs. By coupled gas chromatography and single sensillum recordings on all the antennal sensilla, we measured the electrophysiological response elicited by the compounds present in our human odour extracts. Only five compounds were clearly detected by the olfactory receptor neurons housed in the smooth-peg sensilla of the bed bugs. We tested the behavioural effect of these extracts in a still-air arena and showed a gradient of repellence linked to the dose, as well as a higher propensity of local search behaviour associated with human odours containing a lower ratio of 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one to C(7)-C(10) aldehydes. We conclude that human odour alone has a weak influence on the behaviour of C. lectularius and we propose that human kairomones may have a significant impact on bed bug behaviour in combination with heat and carbon dioxide, the only two currently known attractive vertebrate cues used by bed bugs for host seeking.},
  author       = {Harraca, Vincent and Ryne, Camilla and Birgersson, Göran and Ignell, Rickard},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {623--629},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Smelling your way to food: can bed bugs use our odour?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.065748},
  volume       = {215},
  year         = {2012},
}