Combined Toxicity of Three Essential Oils Against Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) Larvae

Muturi EJ, Ramirez JL, Doll KM, Bowman MJ
Journal of Medical Entomology, 2017


Essential oils are potential alternatives to synthetic insecticides because they have low mammalian toxicity, degrade rapidly in the environment, and possess complex mixtures of bioactive constituents with multi-modal activity against the target insect populations. Twenty-one essential oils were initially screened for their toxicity against Aedes aegypti (L.) larvae and three out of the seven most toxic essential oils (Manuka, oregano, and clove bud essential oils) were examined for their chemical composition and combined toxicity against Ae. aegypti larvae. Manuka essential oil interacted synergistically with oregano essential oil and antagonistically with clove bud essential oil. GC-MS analysis revealed the presence of 21 components in Manuka essential oil and three components each in oregano and clove bud essential oils. Eugenol (84.9%) and eugenol acetate (9.6%) were the principal constituents in clove bud essential oil while carvacrol (75.8%) and m-isopropyltoluene (15.5%) were the major constituents in oregano essential oil. The major constituents in Manuka essential oil were calamenene (20%) and 3-dodecyl-furandione (11.4%). Manuka essential oil interacted synergistically with eugenol acetate and antagonistically with eugenol, suggesting that eugenol was a major contributor to the antagonistic interaction between Manuka and clove bud essential oils. In addition, Manuka interacted synergistically with carvacrol suggesting its contribution to the synergistic interaction between Manuka and oregano essential oils. These findings provide novel insights that can be used to develop new and safer alternatives to synthetic insecticides.


Muturi EJ, Ramirez JL, Doll KM. Combined Toxicity of Three Essential Oils Against Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) Larvae. J Med Entomol. 2017 Oct 4. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjx168

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