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Mosquito-resistant clothing prevents bites in trials

Swatches | October 1, 2021 | By:

Mosquitoes landed on bite-resistant fabric during an in vivo bioassay in which they failed to probe through the fabric due to its small pore size. The proboscis bends when mosquitoes try to push through the fabric. Photo: Matt Bertone/NC State.

North Carolina State University (NC State) researchers have created insecticide-free, mosquito-resistant clothing using textile materials they confirmed to be bite-proof in experiments with live mosquitoes. They developed the materials using a computational model of their own design that describes the biting behavior of a mosquito species known to carry viruses that cause human diseases like Zika, Dengue fever and yellow fever. The researchers reported in the journal Insects that they were able to prevent 100 percent of bites when a volunteer wore the clothing—a base layer undergarment and a combat shirt initially designed for the military—in a cage with 200 live, disease-free mosquitoes. “We found we can prevent the mosquito from pushing through the fabric, while others were thick enough to prevent it from reaching the skin,” said study co-author Andre West, associate professor of fashion and textile design at NC State and director of the Zeis Textiles Extension for Economic Development. Vector Textiles, an NC State startup company, has licensed the rights to make clothing for commercial sale in the U.S. 

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