Newly identified tsetse fly pheromone may help in curbing disease spread
Published:12 Mar.2023    Source:Yale University

 Yale scientists have for the first time identified a volatile pheromone emitted by the tsetse fly, a blood-sucking insect that spreads diseases in both humans and animals across much of sub-Saharan Africa. The discovery offers new insights into how the flies communicate with one another and could yield new methods for controlling their populations and the harmful diseases they carry.

One strategy identified as a way to control the spread of tsetse flies is to use their own pheromones -- particularly volatile pheromones, or pheromones that work over distances rather than through direct contact -- to attract and trap the insects.
The researchers found several chemicals that had never previously been reported, including three that elicited responses from tsetse flies. One in particular, a chemical called methyl palmitoleate (MPO), had the strongest effects.