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Book: Olfaction in vector-host interactions

August 5, 2010 - 19:49 -- Bart G.J. Knols

This is a book authored by 37 experts in this field with a focus on the role of olfaction (the sense of smell) in the multitude of interactions between arthropods and their blood hosts. Half the book deals with malaria vectors, from basic lab studies to open field research on odour-mediated behaviour. The book provides a state-of-the-art account of research in this field.

Blood-feeding arthropods (mostly insects, ticks and mites) depend on a vertebrate host for survival and reproduction. Their evolutionary success depends on how efficiently they can detect the presence of a host and actively locate it to obtain a blood meal.

This is the domain of olfaction, which is perhaps the most important mode of signal exchange between hosts and blood-feeding arthropods that visit them. Important human and animal diseases like malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, bluetongue and trypanosomiasis are transmitted between humans and/or animals as a direct outcome of olfactory responses mediated by host odours.

Increased understanding of olfaction and how this governs interactions between arthropods and blood hosts will enable the development of novel strategies to disrupt this behaviour. For example, many species of tsetse fly respond over distance to simple blends of synthetic odours. Combined with traps or insecticide-treated targets, such odour-baited devices can effectively suppress fly populations and thus transmission of sleeping sickness. Such systems still need to be developed for disease-vectoring mosquitoes, flies and ticks, necessitating further knowledge on the chemical basis of interactions with their vertebrate hosts.

Olfaction in vector-host interactions. Edited by Willem Takken and Bart GJ Knols. Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2010. 437 pp.

For a table of contents, see attached pdf.

You can order the book online hereISBN: 978-90-8686-091-3. 
Price (€): 88.00 (excluding VAT)


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