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Electrophysiologically and behaviourally active semiochemicals identified from bed bug refuge substrate

Weeks, E. N. I., Logan, J. G., Birkett, M. A., Caulfield, J. C., Gezan, S. A., Welham, S. J., Brugman, V. A., Pickett, J. A. ORCID: and Cameron, M. M. 2020. Electrophysiologically and behaviourally active semiochemicals identified from bed bug refuge substrate. Scientific Reports 10 (1) , 4590. 10.1038/s41598-020-61368-6

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Bed bugs are pests of public health importance due to their relentless biting habits that can lead to allergies, secondary infections and mental health issues. When not feeding on human blood bed bugs aggregate in refuges close to human hosts. This aggregation behaviour could be exploited to lure bed bugs into traps for surveillance, treatment efficacy monitoring and mass trapping efforts, if the responsible cues are identified. The aim of this study was to identify and quantify the bed bug aggregation pheromone. Volatile chemicals were collected from bed bug-exposed papers, which are known to induce aggregation behaviour, by air entrainment. This extract was tested for behavioural and electrophysiological activity using a still-air olfactometer and electroantennography, respectively. Coupled gas chromatography-electroantennography (GC-EAG) was used to screen the extract and the GC-EAG-active chemicals, benzaldehyde, hexanal, (E)-2-octenal, octanal, nonanal, decanal, heptanal, (R,S)-1-octen-3-ol, 3-carene, β-phellandrene, (3E,5E)-octadien-2-one, (E)-2-nonenal, 2-decanone, dodecane, nonanoic acid, 2-(2-butoxyethoxy)ethyl acetate, (E)-2-undecanal and (S)-germacrene D, were identified by GC-mass spectrometry and quantified by GC. Synthetic blends, comprising 6, 16, and 18 compounds, at natural ratios, were then tested in the still-air olfactometer to determine behavioural activity. These aggregation chemicals can be manufactured into a lure that could be used to improve bed bug management.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 March 2020
Date of Acceptance: 21 February 2020
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 16:49

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