Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)

Effects of Croton rhamnifolioides essential oil on Aedes aegypti oviposition, larval toxicity and trypsin activity.

PMID 25317582


Although numerous reports are available concerning the larvicidal potential of essential oils, very few investigations have focused on their mechanisms of action. In the present study, we have investigated the chemical composition of the leaf oil of Croton rhamnifolioides during storage and its effects on oviposition and survival of larvae of the dengue fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. In addition, we have established a possible mechanism of action for the larvicidal activity of the essential oil. GC-MS analyses revealed marked differences in the composition of oil that had been freshly isolated and that of a sample that had been stored in a sealed amber-glass vial under refrigeration for three years. However, both fresh and stored oil exhibited substantial larvicidal activities with LC50 values of 122.35 and 89.03 ppm, respectively, and oviposition deterrent effects against gravid females at concentrations of 50 and 100 µg·mL-1. These results demonstrate that the larvicidal effect of the essential oil was unchanged during three years of storage even though its chemical composition altered. Hence, the essential oil could be used in the preparation of commercial products. In addition, we observed that the trypsin-like activity of mosquito larvae was inhibited in vitro by the essential oil of C. rhamnifolioides, suggesting that the larvicidal effect may be associated with inhibition of this enzyme.