Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 481–489 | Cite as

Acaricidal efficacy against cattle ticks and acute oral toxicity of Lippia javanica (Burm F.) Spreng

  • James Madzimure
  • Emmanuel T. Nyahangare
  • Humphrey Hamudikuwanda
  • Thokozani Hove
  • Philip C. Stevenson
  • Steve R. Belmain
  • Brighton M. Mvumi
Original Research


In search for low-cost, safe and environmentally benign plant-based alternatives to commercial pesticides, the efficacy of Lippia javanica aqueous leaf extracts in controlling ticks on cattle, acute oral toxicity in mice and phytochemistry were evaluated. L. javanica aqueous leaf extracts at 10% and 20% w/v were effective at controlling cattle ticks but not as good as an amitraz-based acaricide Tickbuster®. However, they can provide an effective tick control option where synthetic products are unavailable or unaffordable, particularly in remote parts of southern Africa. Peripheral blood samples collected showed no haemoparasites in treated cattle implying that animals did not suffer from clinical tick-borne diseases. The leaf aqueous extracts of L. javanica were tested for toxicity in BALB/c mice. While anecdotal evidence suggests L. javanica has low mammalian toxicity, within 48 h all mice fed with the L. javanica leaf aqueous extract at 12.5–37.5% v/v were lethargic, and overall mortality was 37.5% (n = 24). Thus, despite their apparent safety, water extracts of L. javanica leaves may have deleterious health implications on humans and animals if consumed at very high doses. Many compounds have been identified from L. javanica including an array of phenolic glycosides, flavonoids and essential oils but none of these are known to have acute toxic properties.


Acaricidal efficacy Cattle ticks Leaf aqueous extract Lippia javanica Mice Oral toxicity Phytochemistry 



The authors acknowledge funding from the European Union, 9th European Development Fund through the Implementation and Coordination of Agricultural Research and Training (ICART) Programme administered by the Secretariat and African Caribbean and Pacific Science and Technology Programme (SADC). We also acknowledge the role of Southern Alliance for Indigenous Resources (SAFIRE); World Agro Forestry Centre (ICRAF); Department for Agricultural Research Services, Malawi; Mzuzu University, Malawi in shaping this study. The authors are grateful to Henderson Research Institute, Zimbabwe for supplying the cattle, facilities and technical support. Dr. M. Munyangani of Mazowe Veterinary College, Zimbabwe provided technical expertise in screening cattle blood samples for parasites. We are also grateful to Dr G.C. Kite at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK for LC-MS analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Madzimure
    • 1
  • Emmanuel T. Nyahangare
    • 1
  • Humphrey Hamudikuwanda
    • 1
  • Thokozani Hove
    • 2
  • Philip C. Stevenson
    • 3
    • 4
  • Steve R. Belmain
    • 3
  • Brighton M. Mvumi
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Animal Science, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe
  2. 2.Department of Paraclinical Veterinary Studies, Faculty of Veterinary ScienceUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe
  3. 3.Natural Resources InstituteUniversity of GreenwichChathamUK
  4. 4.Royal Botanic GardensSurreyUK
  5. 5.Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe

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