Endangered Ethnomedicinal Plant Demonstrates Anti-Mosquito Properties


Screening of selected ethnomedicinal plants from South Africa for larvicidal activity against the mosquito Anopheles arabiensis

Rajendra Maharaj, Vinesh Maharaj, Neil R Crouch, Niresh Bhagwandin, Peter I Folb, Pamisha Pillay, and Reshma Gayaram
Malar J
2012 Sep 10;11:320
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3472289

Investigators from the South African Medical Research Council, CSIR and University of KwaZulu-Natal undertook a study to establish whether any South African ethnomedicinal plants used traditionally to repel or kill mosquitoes demonstrate effective mosquito larvicidal properties.

Toddalia asiatica
Deforestation is making the ethnomedicinal plant Toddalia asiatica vulnerable to extinction (Nabwami J et al, African Crop Science Conference Proceedings 8: 2057-2061, 2007). (Photo source: Wikimedia Commons User Vinayaraj)

The authors tested 381 crude plant extracts, consisting of plants found native or naturalized in southern Africa, for their larvicidal effect on Anopheles arabiensis. They successfully identified one plant, Toddalia asiatica, that demonstrated superior larvicidal activity and that is now being further studied with the goal to isolate the active compound and develop a malaria vector control tool.

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

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