Bioefficacy of Plumbago zeylanica (Plumbaginaceae) and Cestrum nocturnum (Solanaceae) plant extracts against Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicide) and nontarget fish Poecilia reticulata
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In a search for natural products that could be used to control the vectors of tropical diseases, extracts of medicinal plants Plumbago zeylanica and Cestrum nocturnum have been tested for larvicidal activity against second, third, and fourth instar larvae of Aedes aegypti. The LC50 values of all the extracts in different solvents of both the plants were less than 50 ppm (15.40–38.50 ppm) against all tested larval instars. Plant extracts also affected the life cycle of A. aegypti by inhibition of pupal development and adult emergence with increasing concentrations. The larvicidal stability of the extracts at five constant temperatures (19°C, 22°C, 25°C, 28°C, and 31°C) evaluated against fourth instar larvae revealed that toxicity of both plant extracts increases with increase in temperature. Toxicity studies carried out against fish species Poecilia reticulata, the most common nontarget organism in the habitats of A. aegypti, showed almost nil to meager toxicity at LC50 and LC90 doses of the plant extracts. The qualitative analysis of crude extracts of P. Zeylanica and C. nocturnum revealed the presence of bioactive phytochemicals with predominance of plumbagin in P. zeylanica and saponins in C. nocturnum. Partially purified plumbagin from P. zeylanica and saponins from C. nocturnum were obtained, and their presence was confirmed by thin-layer chromatography and biochemical tests. The bioassay experiment of partially purified secondary metabolites showed potent mosquito larvicidal activity against the fourth instar larval form. Therefore, this study explored the safer and effective potential of plant extracts against vector responsible for diseases of public health importance.