The buzz about Mosquito Bite Frequency & Genetics

If you’ve always suspected that mosquitoes prefer you to your friends, you’re probably right. It turns out mosquitoes do have preferences, and genetics may be partly to blame.

How it works

Mosquitoes are drawn to breath and the body odour we emit from our sweat glands. It might make your skin crawl, but 23andMe researchers believe that mosquito bite frequency, as well as sensitivity to bites, is partly heritable.

The genetic link

23andMe researchers have identified 285 genetic markers associated with mosquito bite frequency, bite itchiness, or bite size. These markers along with non-genetic factors such as age and sex may affect whether you get more or fewer bites than the people around you.

mosquito on skin

Did you know?

Data from 23andMe customers who consented to participate in research indicate that more than a third, 37.5%, report being bitten more often than others. A little more than a quarter, 27.5%, said they were bitten less frequently than others.

Explore more

Do mosquitoes swarm toward your scent? 23andMe’s Health + Ancestry Service can tell you whether you’re likely to get more or fewer bites than the people around you through our Mosquito Bite Frequency report.

Health + Ancestry Service Kit

Health + Ancestry Service

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