Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 10184–10206 | Cite as

Mosquito control with green nanopesticides: towards the One Health approach? A review of non-target effects

  • Giovanni Benelli
  • Filippo Maggi
  • Roman Pavela
  • Kadarkarai Murugan
  • Marimuthu Govindarajan
  • Baskaralingam Vaseeharan
  • Riccardo Petrelli
  • Loredana Cappellacci
  • Suresh Kumar
  • Anders Hofer
  • Mohammad Reza Youssefi
  • Abdullah A. Alarfaj
  • Jiang-Shiou Hwang
  • Akon Higuchi
Plant-borne compounds and nanoparticles: challenges for medicine, parasitology and entomology


The rapid spread of highly aggressive arboviruses, parasites, and bacteria along with the development of resistance in the pathogens and parasites, as well as in their arthropod vectors, represents a huge challenge in modern parasitology and tropical medicine. Eco-friendly vector control programs are crucial to fight, besides malaria, the spread of dengue, West Nile, chikungunya, and Zika virus, as well as other arboviruses such as St. Louis encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis. However, research efforts on the control of mosquito vectors are experiencing a serious lack of eco-friendly and highly effective pesticides, as well as the limited success of most biocontrol tools currently applied. Most importantly, a cooperative interface between the two disciplines is still lacking. To face this challenge, we have reviewed a wide number of promising results in the field of green-fabricated pesticides tested against mosquito vectors, outlining several examples of synergy with classic biological control tools. The non-target effects of green-fabricated nanopesticides, including acute toxicity, genotoxicity, and impact on behavioral traits of mosquito predators, have been critically discussed. In the final section, we have identified several key challenges at the interface between "green" nanotechnology and classic biological control, which deserve further research attention.


Arbovirus Biosafety Dengue Genotoxicity Japanese encephalitis Malaria Nanosynthesis West Nile virus Zika virus 



Giovanni Benelli is grateful to the One Health Initiative ( for hosting him as supporter. Giovanni Benelli would like to thank Laura Kahn and Bruce Kaplan for their helpful suggestions on the topic of this review.

Compliance with ethical standards


The Authors extend our appreciation to the International Scientific Partnership Program ISPP at King Saud University for funding through ISPP no. 0062. J.-S. Hwang thanks the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan (grant no. NSC98-2621-B-019-001-MY3, NSC101-2621-B-019-002, and NSC102-2923-B-019-001-MY3) for the financial support. R. Pavela would like to thank the Technology Agency of the CR (Project no. TA04020103). A. Higuchi is grateful to the National Science Council of Taiwan under Grant no. MOST-104-2221-E-008-107-MY3 and MOST-105-2119-M-008-006, as well as to a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (15K06591) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan. F. Maggi, R. Petrelli, and L. Cappellacci would like to thank University of Camerino (FAR 2014/15, FPI000044) for the financial support. A. Hofer thanks the Swedish Research Council (2012–1932) and the Kempe Foundation. Lastly, we acknowledge the International High Cited Research Group (IHCRG no. 14-104), Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Benelli
    • 1
  • Filippo Maggi
    • 2
  • Roman Pavela
    • 3
  • Kadarkarai Murugan
    • 4
  • Marimuthu Govindarajan
    • 5
  • Baskaralingam Vaseeharan
    • 6
  • Riccardo Petrelli
    • 2
  • Loredana Cappellacci
    • 2
  • Suresh Kumar
    • 7
  • Anders Hofer
    • 8
  • Mohammad Reza Youssefi
    • 9
  • Abdullah A. Alarfaj
    • 10
  • Jiang-Shiou Hwang
    • 11
  • Akon Higuchi
    • 12
  1. 1.Department of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  2. 2.School of PharmacyUniversity of CamerinoCamerinoItaly
  3. 3.Crop Research InstitutePrague 6Czech Republic
  4. 4.Department of BiotechnologyThiruvalluvar UniversityVelloreIndia
  5. 5.Unit of Vector Control, Phytochemistry and Nanotechnology, Department of ZoologyAnnamalai UniversityAnnamalainagarIndia
  6. 6.Nanobiosciences and Nanopharmacology Division, Biomaterials and Biotechnology in Animal Health Lab, Department of Animal Health and ManagementAlagappa UniversityKaraikudiIndia
  7. 7.Department of Medical Microbiology and ParasitologySerdangMalaysia
  8. 8.Department of Medical Biochemistry and BiophysicsUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  9. 9.Department of Veterinary Parasitology, Babol-BranchIslamic Azad UniversityBabolIran
  10. 10.Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  11. 11.Institute of Marine BiologyNational Taiwan Ocean UniversityKeelungTaiwan
  12. 12.Department of Chemical and Materials EngineeringNational Central UniversityTaoyuanTaiwan

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