Parasitology Research

, Volume 111, Issue 6, pp 2403–2410 | Cite as

Bioactivity of Dianthus caryophyllus, Lepidium sativum, Pimpinella anisum, and Illicium verum essential oils and their major components against the West Nile vector Culex pipiens

  • Athanasios C. Kimbaris
  • George Koliopoulos
  • Antonios MichaelakisEmail author
  • Maria A. KonstantopoulouEmail author
Original Paper


Mosquitoes constitute a severe health problem in many areas all over the world. There are many regions of the tropics and subtropics where mosquitoes are one of the main reasons for inhibiting the economic upgrade. Except nuisance, their medical importance is another matter of attention since mosquitoes are vectors for a wide variety of vector-borne diseases. Due to disadvantages of currently used chemical control methods, it is unavoidable to search for eco-friendly new molecules. We report herein the evaluation of the larvicidal effect exhibited by essential oils of Dianthus caryophyllus, Lepidium sativum, Pimpinella anisum, and Illicium verum against late third to early fourth instar mosquito larvae of Culex pipiens. Furthermore, phytochemical analysis of plant samples revealed their major compounds to be β-caryophyllene, eugenol, eucalyptol, α-terpinyl acetate, and (E)-anethole which were also tested for their potential larvicidal activity. For D. caryophyllus and L. sativum, this was the first report on the chemical composition of their essential oils. The essential oils of I. verum and P. anisum demonstrated high larvicidal activity with a LC50 <18 mgL−1. The other two essential oils of D. caryophyllus and L. sativum revealed moderate larvicidal activity, displaying a LC50 value above 50 mgL−1. Among the pure components, the most toxic were eugenol, (E)-anethole, and α-terpinyl acetate, with LC50 values 18.28, 16.56, and 23.03 mgL−1, respectively. Eucalyptol (1,8 cineole) and β-caryophyllene were inactive at concentrations even as high as 100 mgL−1, showing the least significant activity against mosquito larvae. Results allow some rationalization on the relative importance of the major compounds regarding the larvicidal activity of selected essential oils and their potential use as vector control agents.


West Nile Virus Eugenol Larvicidal Activity Anethole Eucalyptol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Department of Agricultural DevelopmentDemocritus University of ThraceNew OrestiadaGreece
  2. 2.Laboratory of Biological Control of PesticidesBenaki Phytopathological InstituteAthensGreece
  3. 3.Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology, Department of Entomology and Agricultural ZoologyBenaki Phytopathological InstituteAthensGreece
  4. 4.Chemical Ecology and Natural Products Laboratory, Institute of Biosciences and ApplicationsNCSR “Demokritos”AthensGreece

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