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Evaluation of Tagetes patula (Asteraceae) as an ecological alternative in the search for natural control of the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae)

Abstract

The cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus is a great sanitary problem and causes huge losses to livestock, being a vector of important diseases. The aim of this work was to verify the action of plant-derived material obtained from Tagetes patula on the life cycle of R. microplus, as well as to analyze the action of these extracts on ovary cells of engorged females. In the Adult Immersion Test, the crude ethanolic extract (TpEtOH) showed an efficacy of 99.2% (LC50 = 18.60 mg mL−1). From the repellency test, it was found that both the TpEtOH and essential oil were 100% efficient on the larval stage. In addition, in the Larval Package Test, a mortality of 98.37% was obtained with TpEtOH (LC50 = 3.798 mg mL−1). From the microscopic analysis of ovary cells, morphological changes in the chorion and cytoplasm of oocytes were observed, with vacuolization around the germinal vesicle and disorganization of the pedicular cells, suggesting an interference in the normal embryogenic formation of the larvae. These results demonstrate that T. patula extracts interfere at all stages of development of the ixodid, from eggs to adults forms, and have a pronounced repellent effect. In addition, the results of the cytotoxicity assays performed on keratinocytes, as well as previous information on oral and dermal acute toxicity (LD50 > 4000 mg kg−1), attest that T. patula can be a safe alternative for ectoparasitic control, representing an alternative for development of a formulation used to help control populations of ticks in the field.

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Acknowledgements

FASP and MF thank the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP, process number 2013/03493-8 and process number 2013/07600-3/CIBFar) and the National Council of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq, process number 150302/2017-7) for research fellowships. We thank the Embrapa Project No. 02.13.01.001.00-00 for the financial support to maintain the tick donors and to perform in vitro tick assays. We also thank the Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CPMA) of the Multidisciplinary Center for Chemical, Biological and Agricultural Research (CPQBA) for supplying the plant material; Prof. Norberto Peporine Lopes of the Research Support Center in Natural and Synthetic Products (NPPNS), Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo (USP), for providing the chromatographic equipment; and Prof. Dr. Christiane Pienna Soares of the Laboratory of Cytology and Cell Biology (UNESP), Araraquara (SP), for providing the HaCat cells.

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Correspondence to Flávio Augusto Sanches Politi.

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Politi, F.A.S., Fantatto, R.R., da Silva, A.A. et al. Evaluation of Tagetes patula (Asteraceae) as an ecological alternative in the search for natural control of the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae). Exp Appl Acarol 77, 601–618 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10493-019-00368-2

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Keywords

  • Acaricides
  • Spotted fever
  • Livestock
  • Microscopy
  • Natural products
  • Ticks