Itching bites may limit Ross River virus infection

Alan E Dugdale
Med J Aust 2002; 177 (7): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04859.x
Published online: 7 October 2002

To the Editor: Reactions to insect bites are unpleasant and can be dangerous.1 Kumar2 commented that people who react to mosquito bites with local itching and inflammation appeared less likely to develop malaria than those with no reaction. In a later personal communication, he gave me unpublished data showing an inverse linear relationship between the severity of the reaction to mosquito bites and the incidence of clinical malaria.


  • 1. O'Hehir RE, Douglass JA. Stinging insect allergy. Med J Aust 1999; 171: 649-650. <eMJA full text>
  • 2. Kumar A. Itching and immunity [letter]. Lancet 1996; 348: 1383.
  • 3. Fang D, Elly C, Gao B, et al. Dysregulation of T lymphocyte function in itch mice: a role for Itch in TH2 differentiation. Nat Immunol 2002; 3: 281-287.


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