Abate: Human-Scented "Trojan Cows" Kill Vectors of Disease
Agenor Mafra-Neto of ISCA Technologies, Inc. in the U.S. will test whether an artificial lactic acid treatment (called abate) can trick disease-transmitting insects such as mosquitoes into infecting animals rather than their preferred human hosts, thereby reducing infection rates. Malaria-causing parasites are carried by mosquitoes, which identify the human hosts that help them reproduce by detecting the high levels of lactic acid in human perspiration. Cattle are resistant to malaria and many other human diseases transmitted by insects, and are often treated with deworming medication, which has a toxic effect on mosquitoes and their parasites. They will develop a stable formula of abate and test its effect on altering host choice of several disease-transmitting insects to determine which is most effective.