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Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Certain Blood Types?

Medically reviewed by Jenneh Rishe, RN -- Written by Jill Seladi-Schulman, Ph.D.

Have you ever noticed that mosquitoes seem to bite some people more than others, even when everyone is in the same place at the same time, with the same amount of exposed skin?

Because mosquitoes can spread diseases like malaria, Zika, and dengue fever, scientists have been investigating the various factors that may make some people more attractive to mosquitoes. One of these factors is blood type.

In this article, we examine the link between mosquito bites and blood type, and also look at other factors that attract mosquitoes.

Are people with one blood type more prone to mosquito bites than others?

People with different blood types have different sets of specific proteins (antigens) on the surface of their red blood cells. You inherit your blood type from your parents. There are four different blood types:

  • A: only A antigen on the surface of red blood cells
  • B: only B antigen on the surface of red blood cells
  • AB: both A and B antigen on the surface of red blood cells
  • O: no A or B antigen on the surface of red blood cells

Some people can also have these antigens in body fluids like saliva or tears. These people are called secretors. For example, someone with blood type A would be a type A secretor. Those with blood type O secrete H antigen, a precursor to A and B antigen.

So, what does all of this mean for how attractive you are to mosquitoes?

Generally speaking, mosquitoes appear to be more attracted to people with blood type O than other blood types.

Take a deeper dive into the research on this topic here.


October 21, 2023

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