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Factors That Attract and Repel Mosquitoes in Human Skin

Howard I. Maibach, MD; W. A. Skinner, PhD; Walter G. Strauss, MD; A. A. Khan, PhD
JAMA. 1966;196(3):263-266. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100160113032.
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The aim of this research program is to find an orally active insect repellent. By carefully screening drugs at random—a formidable task whose success depends on chance rather than knowledge—such an agent could hopefully be found. We have chosen to look instead to nature for a solution of this problem. We assume that human and animal skin contains factors attractive to mosquitoes. Knowledge of these attractant factors should lead to methods of interruption as the basis of an ideal repellent. This report reviews our efforts to measure the relative attractiveness of individuals and identify the responsible agents.

Search for the Unattractive Man  Folklore indicates that some humans are never bitten by mosquitoes. In casual discussion, several lay and professional colleagues have informed us that they know of at least one such person. One must be certain that this is not lack of skin reactivity to the bite. Whenever possible, we

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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