We already knew that global warming would accelerate the proliferation of mosquitoes. New research on the Aedes Egypti mosquito, more commonly known as the tiger mosquito, confirms this. If not all mosquitoes (there are more than 3,000 species) do not bite humans, this species of mosquito not only loves human blood, but transmits dangerous viruses such as Zika, Chikungunya or even yellow fever.
And their appetite for human blood is unlikely to diminish, according to this new study in the journal Current Biology. The work was carried out on mosquitoes of this species distributed in about twenty sites in sub-Saharan Africa. “We wanted to better understand what makes them adapt to humans,” says Noah Rose, a Princeton University researcher who led the study.
Urbanization called into question
Scientists noticed that the mosquitoes most likely to attack humans (rather than animals) lived in densely populated areas with a dry climate. For researchers, this means that mosquitoes of this species primarily seek stagnant water and human blood in order to survive.
According to forecasts from the study, rapid urbanization could increase tiger mosquito bites in many African cities by 2050. This is worrying given that the viruses that this species transmits can prove to be fatal to people. humans.