|MadSci Network: Biochemistry|
Hello The short answer to your question is that I, and the people I asked, could find no direct studies on levels of bilirubin and its effect on mosquito behaviour. However the topic of what is or is not attractive about a host (in this case you) is an important area of mosquito biology. Mosquitoes can navigate towards their potential hosts by responding to various cues which the host emits. Some of these are chemical and some are physical. Chemical cues can include things like components of expired breath, where carbon dioxide and water are known to be attractive to mosquitoes. S-lactic acid is also present in human breath but the extent to which this affects mosquito responses to human odour is not known. Another consideration is that different species of mosquitoes will not necessarily respond to chemicals in an identical manner. For example, sweat soaked cloths increased the entry of mosquitoes of the species Aedes gambia and A. funestus into traps, but did not affect those of the species Mansoria africans or M. uniformis. In general however, if increased levels of bilirubin cause changes in the chemicals you emit, for example when you breathe or sweat, then there is certainly every possibility that this could affect how attractive you are to mosquitoes. Unfortunately, I could not find any information about changes in the levels or types of body secretions by those with Gilbert's disease. Neither could I find information about changes in secretions of people with jaundice that would be relevant. I hope that if anyone knows more about this, that they will send the information in! While I was not able to find any evidence of direct studies, I had fun trying to find the answer! Thanks for a stimulating question. A good source of information about the behaviour of mosquitoes can be found in the book: The Biology of Mosquitoes, volume 2 by A.N. Clements, 1999. Chapman and Hall. ISBN: 0851993133
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Biochemistry.