Celery-based topical repellents as a potential natural alternative for personal protection against mosquitoes

Abstract

Celery-based products were investigated for chemical composition, skin irritation, and mosquito repellency in comparison to commercial repellents and the standard chemical, N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET), with a goal to develop a natural alternative to synthetic repellents for protection against mosquitoes. Chemical identification by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry discovered that the major constituents of Apium graveolens hexane extract (AHE) were 3-n-butyl-tetrahydrophthalide (92.48%), followed by 5.10% β-selinene and 0.68% γ-selinene. Evaluation of skin irritation in 27 human volunteers revealed no irritant potential from 25% ethanolic AHE solution. Laboratory investigated repellent against female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes demonstrated that G10 formula, the best AHE-developed product, provided remarkable repellency with a median protection time of 4.5 h (4.5–5 h), which was greater than that of ethanolic DEET solution (25% DEET, 3.5 h) and comparable to that of the best commercial repellent, Insect Block 28 (28.5% DEET, 4.5 h). According to significantly promising results, including highly effective repellency and no potential skin irritation or other side effects, the G10 formula is a worthwhile product that has the promise of being developed for commercialized registration. This developed AHE product could be an acceptable and affordable alternative to conventional synthetic chemicals in preventing mosquito bites, and in turn, helping to interrupt mosquito-borne disease transmission.

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Acknowledgment

The authors are grateful to the individuals who served as subject volunteers. Financial support from the Thailand Research Fund through the Royal Golden Jubilee Ph.D. Program (grant no. PHD/0112/2547) and the Faculty of Medicine Research Fund, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Thailand, is gratefully acknowledged.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest regarding this article.

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Correspondence to B. Pitasawat.

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Tuetun, B., Choochote, W., Pongpaibul, Y. et al. Celery-based topical repellents as a potential natural alternative for personal protection against mosquitoes. Parasitol Res 104, 107–115 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-008-1167-1

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Keywords

  • Deet
  • Protection Time
  • Propylparaben
  • Mosquito Repellency
  • Isopropyl Myristate