Chemical composition and repellent activity of native plants essential oils against dengue mosquito, Aedes aegypti.
Aedes aegypti L. (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquito is an important vector of chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever. Plant based essential oils may serve as good alternatives to commercially available mosquito repellent, DEET. Steam distillation was used for the extraction of essential oils from fresh collected aerial parts of plants viz Chenopodium ambrosioides, Conyza sumatrensis, Erigeron canadensis, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Mentha spicata, Parthenium hysterophorus, and Tagetes minuta. The essential oils were tested for mosquito repellent activity against laboratory reared female Ae. aegypti by human bait technique. Identification of chemical constituents of essential oils was carried out by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The essential oil of M. spicata, E. canadensis, P. hysterophorus, C. sumatrensis, T. minuta, C. ambrosioides, and E. camaldulensis exhibited 100%, 80%, 63.9%, 51.4%, 50.2%, 39.7%, and 13.7% mosquito repellent activity respectively, at the tested dose of 30 µg/cm2. The most abundant constituents of M. spicata, E. canadensis, P. hysterophorus, C. sumatrensis and T. minuta essential oils were piperitenone oxide (47.1%), limonene (41.3%), germacrene D (36.6%), cis-lachnophyllum ester (33.3%) and dihydrotagetone (20.9%) respectively. M. spicata essential oil completely inhibited the attractiveness of human hands toward female mosquitoes for more than 45 min thus showed bioactivity comparable to that of commercially used mosquito repellent, DEET. This study suggests that the dilute solution of M. spicata essential oil could be used as potent mosquito repellent against Ae. aegypti alternative to commercially available synthetic mosquito repellents.