Larvicidal activity of selected plant hydrodistillate extracts against the house mosquito, Culex pipiens, a West Nile virus vector


The larvicidal activity of hydrodistillate extracts from Chrysanthemum coronarium L., Hypericum scabrum L., Pistacia terebinthus L. subsp. palaestina (Boiss.) Engler, and Vitex agnus castus L. was investigated against the West Nile vector, Culex pipiens L. (Diptera: Culicidae). Yield and identification of the major essential oils from each distillation was determined by GC-MS analyses. The major essential oil component for each plant species was as follows: α-pinene for P. terebinthus palaestina, and H. scabrum (45.3% and 42.3%, respectively), trans-β-caryophyllene for V. agnus castus (22.1%), and borneol for C. coronarium (20.9%). A series of distillate concentrations from these plants (that ranged from 1 ppm to 500 ppm, depending on plant species) were assessed against late third to early fourth C. pipiens larvae at 1, 6, and 24 h posttreatment. In general, larval mortality to water treated with a distillate increased as concentration and exposure time increased. H. scabrum and P. terebinthus palaestina were most effective against the mosquito larvae and both produced 100% mortality at 250 ppm at 24-h continuous exposure compared with the other plant species. Larval toxicity of the distillates at 24 h (LC50 from most toxic to less toxic) was as follows: P. terebinthus palaestina (59.2 ppm) > H. scabrum (82.2 ppm) > V. agnus castus (83.3 ppm) > C. coronarium (311.2 ppm). But when LC90 values were compared, relative toxicity ranking changed as follows: H. scabrum (185.9 ppm) > V. agnus castus (220.7 ppm) > P. terebinthus palaestina (260.7 ppm) > C. coronarium (496.3 ppm). Extracts of native Turkish plants continue to provide a wealth of potential sources for biologically active agents that may be applied against arthropod pests of man and animals.

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The authors are grateful to the Scientific Projects Administration Unit of Akdeniz University (Antalya, Turkey) for financial support (Project Number, 2005.03.0121.007).

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Correspondence to Huseyin Cetin.

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Cetin, H., Yanikoglu, A. & Cilek, J.E. Larvicidal activity of selected plant hydrodistillate extracts against the house mosquito, Culex pipiens, a West Nile virus vector. Parasitol Res 108, 943–948 (2011).

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  • West Nile Virus
  • Larval Mortality
  • Mosquito Larva
  • Larvicidal Activity
  • Borneol