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We are partnering with two French research institutions, the CNRS and the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, to carry out a project at the crossroads of ecology and cosmetics, with the aim of finding an effective natural anti-mosquito substance.
In Uganda, chimpanzees build their nests in certain trees every night. Scientific observations of the apes have shown that they are less prone to mosquito bites than other mammals in the area.
Would chimpanzees choose particular tree species to build their nests and thus avoid mosquito bites?
Based on this hypothesis and inspired by the animal world, we want to find a natural mosquito repellent.
Indeed, the idea for the project started from the observation that vector-borne diseases are responsible for more than 17% of infectious diseases, and cause more than one million deaths worldwide each year according to the World Health Organization (2017). These vectors are most often mosquitoes, which are responsible for malaria, dengue and Chikungunya; or ticks, which are responsible for Lyme disease.
Under these conditions, the need to discover methods of prevention, control and innovative treatments that respect the environment is obvious.
This unique approach to wild chimpanzee nest-building behavior will allow us to learn from their behavior, in addition to contributing to the preservation of the species. The goal is to elucidate the understanding that animals have for self-medication, in order to hope to one day eradicate the development of diseases such as malaria.
A new project, led by the doctoral student Camille Lacroux, a new Lovea recruit, supervised by researchers Emmanuelle Pouydebat (laboratory of adaptive mechanisms & evolution) and Sabrina Krief (eco-anthropology laboratory), as well as Sophie Durand (chemist and scientific coordinator at Lovea).
An initiative that allows us to carry our commitment to the preservation of a wild chimpanzee community in Uganda.
Thanks to this partnership, we wish to perfect the formula of our mosquito repellent spray in order to better respond to our values of natural beauty, while respecting the environment and continuing to work in a logic of permanent improvement.