Malaria-carrying mosquitoes = Nature's frat boys?

It's hard to follow the bisexual killer fungus, but how about this: A new study suggests that Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes (the main carriers of malaria in Africa) are attracted to the smell of beer and prefer victims who've been drinking. Quote the Conclusions: "These results suggest that beer consumption is a risk factor for malaria."



  1. Based on my own narrow experience, during several months in Ghana, I call BS.

    Alcohol sweat, of any kind, seemed to keep me safer from bites. When I drank a few of the “big ones” (20 oz. bottles) instead of eating dinner on a hot night, I got no bites at all.

    My conclusion: beer *may possibly* be a risk factor for malaria if you only drink a moderate amount.

    1. @Robtuse: Between two internet statements based on unknown sources, I’m more willing to trust the one with a large sample size and better setup. ;)

    2. Robtuse, perhaps you’re still getting bitten, but all that alcohol means you don’t feel them?

  2. I’m sorry but no matter how many times I read that, I subconsciously put a hyphen in there.. To me it reads “bisexual-killer fungus”. It might be clearer if you said “killer bisexual fungus” or something.

    I blame xkcd as usual:

  3. I know it is Earth Day and all, but if this is true, I would seriously have to consider indiscriminate and wanton use of DDT if I was an African. I’d mix it into the F***ing beer. If I’m going down, I’m taking them with me. Gin and tonics can only sustain a man for so long. I would see my land drenched in a fine layer of DDT and pray to God Almighty that my grandchildren will live to hold their beers up high in exaltation — one for each of their three hands– and their very singular foot resting upon the metaphorical corpse of Rachel Carson.

  4. Ten or so years ago I remember being advised to take vitamin B supplements in mosquito areas as they don’t like the smell. Beer contains the same and I agree with Robtuse that in my experience, beer drinkers got bitten less.

  5. Well only the girl mosquitoes bite so they’re skuzzy sorority girls trying to get free drinks off folks.

  6. My bet is that it’s not the alcohol, it’s the other carbohydrates. So if you’re drinking light beer, the mosquitoes punish you for your bad taste ;)

    Can anyone see the full study and find out what they were feeding the test subjects? And have they tested sugary drinks as well?

    Interesting anecdotal data, but I find mosquitoes by preference seek out Englishmen (and women) by preference over Canadians. Or my English relatives anyways – which tends to reduce genetic factors, which leaves me suspicious of diet and perhaps poor mozzieswatting reflexes as the factors. But even after drenching my cousins in deep woods off and leaving myself clean they STILL got covered in bites, and I wasn’t bothered at all.

    Top mosquito avoidance tip – bring an Englishman along as a decoy :D

  7. Nature’s sorority girls, perhaps.

    Alcohol does dilate the skin’s blood vessels, bringing more blood to the surface. That might attract the little critters.

  8. I don’t believe there to be any coorelation. It is as absurd as saying only males drink beer.

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