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Chambers: Drinking beer increases the number of bites Science and health



Brazil is one of the countries that drinks the most beer in the world and consumes about 70 liters a year per person. It is certain that in summer it takes longer, because for many people the hottest season of the year "asks" for the cold. But you have to be careful. Some experts warn that this drink, especially in excess, may increase the chance of infection with denka, zikou, chikungunyou and malaria virus.

Carlos Brisola Marcondes, professor at the Institute of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology (MIP) of the University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), has two studies, one in Japan and the other in Burkina Faso, who found that drinking beer attracts more mosquitoes on a drinker.

This means that the beverage increases the number of bites of the transmitted insects that transmit the disease to those who consume it and hence the risk of the disease.

In Japanese research, a dose of 350 ml of barley beer was tested Aedes albopictus, close relative Aedes aegypti. In Burkina Faso, scientists provided the participants with uninformed quantities of one made from sorghum (4% alcohol), locally called a dolphin, to verify the result of the species Anopheles gambiae, a malaria transmitter.

"In both studies, insect attractiveness has grown significantly," Marcondes said. "In addition, the second study also stimulated mosquito flight, which was caused by the scattering of alcohol by the body with the presence of ethanol in the sweat."

According to him, a study in Japan showed deviations in the body temperature of the drinker, depending on their tolerance to alcohol.

"In Burkina Faso, it was found that the reduction in body temperature and the amount of carbon dioxide exhaled (not affected by beer) had no significant impact on attractiveness," Marcondes said.

"The authors assumed that beer would produce more kiromonium (volatile substances emitted by the drinker) to attract more mosquitoes."

Aedes aegypti woman is a transmitter of yellow fever, dengue, zika and chikungunya in Brazil - Photo: Pixabay / DivulgaçãoAedes aegypti woman is a transmitter of yellow fever, dengue, zika and chikungunya in Brazil - Photo: Pixabay / Divulgação

Aedes aegypti woman is a transmitter of yellow fever, dengue, zika and chikungunya in Brazil – Photo: Pixabay / Divulgação

These chiromonium and alcohol are not the only substances that increase the number of bites. "There are a few that attract mosquitoes, the best known of which are carbon dioxide and lactic acid (loose in sweat), and there are certainly others that naturally occur in the body," says Marcondes.

"For some species, children are more attractive than adults and blacks more than white people, but for others it is the opposite. This is an area of ​​great importance to be explored by more scientific research."

Dr. Rodolpho, Telarolli Júnior, from the Faculty of Pharmacology at the Araraquara University of São Paulo (UNESP), gives further examples.

"Some studies show (but it is not clear) that mosquitoes are attracted to individuals whose breathing contains higher levels of carbon dioxide, as is the case with those who have just done the fastest metabolism," he explains. "The same thing would apply to pregnant women who have a similar condition during pregnancy, as well as those with overweight or obesity."

According to him, hematopagic insects would be more attractive to people and areas of the human body with higher temperatures. "It's a case of individuals with fever, such as transmissible diseases such as dengue, for example," says Telarolli.

In his opinion, for reasons unknown so far, some studies have shown that there are species that prefer O-type people at the expense of people with other types (A, B, and AB). "Another research has shown that wearing dark clothing is a factor that can attract more mosquitoes," says Telarolli.

"So, in areas of heavy insect attack, it's wise to wear light clothing, and O-type blood carriers should double their care."

According to Marcondes, we can say that skin and exhaled air exclude substances that affect the preference of mosquitoes, distinguishing individuals and front insects, to take precedence over children, different from what they have for adults.

"There are also differences between races," he says. "The chemical ecology of their attractiveness is a difficult and yet poorly understood subject. Hematophagy (blood enlargement) of these animals depends on complex factors including smell and vision, especially diarrheal species such as tsetse fly, sleep disorders and our familiar Aedes aegypti. "

How to protect yourself from mosquito bites

Some simple measures help protect insect bites, use repellents, keep screens at home, avoid mosquitoes, such as areas near watercourses or gardens - Photo: Ministry of Health (via the BBC)Some simple measures help protect insect bites, use repellents, keep screens at home, avoid mosquitoes, such as areas near watercourses or gardens - Photo: Ministry of Health (via the BBC)

Some simple measures help protect insect bites, use repellents, keep screens at home, avoid mosquitoes, such as areas near watercourses or gardens – Photo: Ministry of Health (via the BBC)

For him, studies should be conducted with other beverages except beer to check if it is alcohol that affects mosquitoes or something that is characteristic of them. "It would be very important to develop tests in Brazil with insects from different groups, such as swallows, sand flies (leishmaniosis carrying flies), marinas and nationally-consumed beverages such as cachaca," he says.

"With some work on the subject, it is an open space for research that is of great hygienic importance."

Another factor that has not been studied to increase the number of bites is likely to reduce the ability to defend themselves against the bite of people who have been drinking too much. "The mowing skin has no owner," Marcondes jokes. "Beware of drinking, especially in large quantities, because it can increase your chances of getting malaria, dengue and other mosquito-transmitted diseases."

For this reason, further study is important. Moreover, it is known that one of the main determinants of the transmission of diseases originating from insect vectors is the bite frequency. "In this way, factors that affect their amount have epidemiological significance," Marcondes says.

"So, for example, malaria control is most effective if it focuses primarily on individuals with preferential mosquitoes." Among the most attracted pregnant women are,

While new research is not being carried out, some simple measures help protect against insect infection. "Avoiding mosquito areas such as areas near watercourses or gardens or other insect-stricken areas is one of them," says Telarolli.

"Do not wear dark clothing when you need to go to these places, use repellents that should be applied to clothing and not directly on the skin, keep a screen house when living in infested areas and when you drink alcohol or if pregnant women double their care with mosquitoes, are other measures that need to be taken. "


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