Summer is a time when many types of insects, especially mosquitoes, thrive, causing many diseases. Therefore, insect sprays, mosquito repellent creams, … become the solutions that many families choose.
DEET (a common compound in insect repellents) can be an effective repellant, but it is also irritating and must be reapplied every few hours. Scientists are currently working on a less harmful, more effective, longer-lasting alternative, by placing genetically modified bacteria on human skin.
LBP is being developed as part of the ReVector Program, led by DARPA. Conducting fieldwork are project partners from Boston-based biotech company Ginkgo Bioworks, Florida International University (FIU), Azitra Medical Dermatology and Latham BioPharm Group. based in Massachusetts.
This technology focuses on changing the microbiota on the human skin, which is the diverse community of microorganisms that live on the skin. These bacteria produce an odor that scientists say is one of the main factors that attracts female mosquitoes to suck blood.
The new mosquito repellent works by masking the natural odor on human skin, which attracts female mosquitoes, for a longer lasting effect with less irritation.
FIU’s Dr. Matthew DeGennaro said: “The idea is that we are going to create a topical bacterium that has been designed to alter our odor structure. There are some basic, intriguing mosquitoes that most people have. Our product hides those odors ”.
Factors like body temperature and exhaled carbon dioxide also play a role in getting mosquitoes to seek more, but DeGennaro says those factors generally tend to initiate foraging, as opposed to being attracts insects to a specific host.
Because each person’s skin microbiota is unique, additional research is needed to see the effectiveness of low back pain on many human test subjects.
And due to the fact that the repellent has built-in live bacteria that “reside” in the skin, scientists hope that it can be effective for at least two weeks – even with frequent baths. Also, it won’t have any side effects.
“With current repellants, they have a strong smell, many people can be allergic,” said Nadia Parachin, Ginkgo’s Biotechnology Program Manager.
“The idea of precisely designing the skin microbiome is to make it as natural as possible, so it will be as if it weren’t there,” said Nadia Parachin, Ginkgo’s Biological Engineering Program Manager. What’s on everyone’s skin ”.
If people want to try LBP on their own, they still have to wait. The ReVector program is a four-year project that will require mouse studies, followed by human testing before the commercial repellant reaches the market.
Huong Giang (Source: New Atlas)