London: People who have consumed a pint or two of beer are 15 percent more likely to be bitten by a mosquito, according to a new research.
Researchers believe the pests are attracted to odour and breath changes caused by alcohol.
They added that mosquitoes could have learnt to associate the beer odour with an increased lack of defensiveness against bites from boozy drinkers.
The team, led by scientists at the IRD Research Centre in Montpellier, France, hope their findings will be used to help prevent malaria, reports the Daily Mail.
They tested their theory on 2,500 Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes in Burkino Faso, west Africa.
“To the best of our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence that beer consumption increases human attractiveness to An. gambiae, which is the principal vector of malaria in Africa,” the scientists said.
The team used 25 volunteers aged between 20 and 43. They gave them one litre of their local brew, Dolo, before seeing how many mosquitoes would fly upwind towards them.
The insects, fed into a downwind box in batches of 50, were given the option of flying towards traps containing either open air or the human odour of the participant.
Researchers found that 47 per cent of mosquitoes were tempted to fly up into either trap after beer consumption - compared to just 35 per cent before beer.
And 65 per cent headed for the trap containing the human odour after beer, rather than just 50 per cent before it.
The scientists concluded that not only did the mosquitoes`` attraction to humans increase after beer, but so did their stimulation to fly up into either trap.
The study has been published in Plos One.