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Preliminary evaluation of mosquito larvicidal efficacy of plant extracts

Author(s): N.G. Das, D. Goswami & B. Rabha

Journal: Journal of Vector Borne Diseases
ISSN 0972-9062

Volume: 44;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 145;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Aedes albopictus | Culex quinquefasciatus | laboratory evaluation | mosquito larvicide | plant extracts

Mosquitoes are the most important single group ofinsects in terms of public health importance, whichtransmit a number of diseases, such as malaria, filariasis,dengue, Japanese encephalitis, etc. causing millionsof deaths every year. Repeated use of syntheticinsecticides for mosquito control has disrupted naturalbiological control systems and led to resurgencesin mosquito populations. It has also resulted in thedevelopment of resistance1, undesirable effects onnon-target organisms and fostered environmental andhuman health concern2, which initiated a search foralternative control measures. Plants are considered asa rich source of bioactive chemicals3 and they may bean alternative source of mosquito control agents.Natural products of plant origin with insecticidalproperties have been tried in the recent past for controlof variety of insect pests and vectors. Essentialoils of leaf and bark of Cryptomeria japonica demonstratedhigh larvicidal activity against Aedesaegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) larvae4. Insecticidalactivity of plant essential oils has been well-describedby Isman5. Azadiractin, the active ingredient of neemhas long been recognised for its mosquito larvicidalcapability. The extracts of Murraya koenigii, Coriandrumsativam, Ferula asafetida and Trigonella foenumgraceum were found to be effective and showedencouraging results against Ae. aegypti6 and Culex(Diptera: Culicidae) mosquito larvae7. It is also reportedthat many compounds with insecticidal potentialhave been isolated from the genus Piper—Pipercide,isolated from Piper negrum (black piper) hasbeen found to be just as active against adjuki beanweevils as the pyrethroides8. Phytochemicals derivedfrom plant sources can act as larvicide, insect growthregulators, repellent and ovipositor attractant andhave different activities observed by many researchers9–11. However, insecticides of plant origin havebeen extensively used on agricultural pests and to avery limited extent, against insect vectors of publichealth importance.Northeastern region of India is considered as a majorbiodiversity hot spot. The eastern Himalayas range,which extends all through the northern border ofAssam, is a rich treasure house of many promisingmedicinal and aromatic plants. In the present communication,an attempt has been made to evaluate themosquito larvicidal efficacy of methanol and ethanolextracts of different parts of five indigenous plantsagainst Ae. albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) and Culexquinquefasciatus larvae in laboratory conditions.Plant materials were collected from the foothill forestsof Sonitpur district, Assam bordering ArunachalPradesh during April and May 2005. They were segregatedas leaf, stem, bark, root and fruit/pericarp andair-dried in a shady place. Dried materials wereground in a table model grinder. The ground plant materialswere dipped in solvents (methanol and ethanol)Short Research Communications146 J VECT BORNE DIS 44, JUNE 2007in tightly capped jars separately for 48 h. The solventsalong with extracts were drained out, filtered andsemisolid extracts were obtained in vacuum usingrotary evaporator. The semisolid extracts were lyophilisedto obtain solid extracts. Stock solutions of desiredconcentration were prepared in distilled waterusing 1 ppm teepol as emulsifying agent and subsequentdilutions were made as per requirement. Larvicidalbioassay was carried out as per standard WHOtechniques in 500 ml glass beakers containing 250 mlof water and 25 numbers of late III or early IV instarmosquito larvae for various concentrations. Threedifferent concentrations of each extract were tried outat a time with six replicates. One control was kept witheach set of experiment and mortality was recordedafter 24 h. Five sets of experiments were conductedfor each extract. Tests were carried out under controlledlaboratory conditions (temperature 27 ± 2oC)against laboratory reared Ae. albopictus and Cx. quinquefasciatus(Diptera: Culicidae) larvae. Values obtainedwere subjected to log probit regression analysisto obtain LC50 and LC90 values with 95% confidencelimit12.The results showed that the larvicidal activity ofmethanol and ethanol extracts of five aromatic plantspecies against Ae. albopictus and Cx. quinquefasciatuslarvae varied according to plant species (Tables 1& 2). Methanol extract of Aristolochia saccata rootswas found to be the most effective against Ae. albopictuslarvae followed by ethanol extracts of A. saccata,Annona squamosa leaf and methanol extract ofA. squamosa leaf respectively. LC90 values of methanolextract of fruit/pericarp of Gymnopetelumcochinchinensis, bark of Caesalpinea species andethanol extract of stem of Piper species were obtainedat
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