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Silica nanoparticle: a potential new insecticide for mosquito vector control


Presently, there is a need for increased efforts to develop newer and effective methods to control mosquito vectors as the existing chemical and biological methods are not as effective as in earlier period owing to different technical and operational reasons. The use of nanomaterial products in various sectors of science including health increased during the last decade. We tested three types of nanosilica, namely lipophilic, hydrophilic and hydrophobic, to assess their larvicidal, pupicidal and growth inhibitor properties and also their influence on oviposition behaviour (attraction/deterrence) of mosquito species that transmit human diseases, namely malaria (Anopheles), yellow fever, chickungunya and dengue (Aedes), lymphatic filariasis and encephalitis (Culex and Aedes). Application of hydrophobic nanosilica at 112.5 ppm was found effective against mosquito species tested. The larvicidal effect of hydrophobic nanosilica on mosquito species tested was in the order of Anopheles stephensi > Aedes aegypti > Culex quinquefasciatus, and the pupicidal effect was in the order of A. stephensi > C. quinquefasciatus > Ae. aegypti. Results of combined treatment of hydrophobic nanosilica with temephos in larvicidal test indicated independent toxic action without any additive effect. This is probably the first report that demonstrated that nanoparticles particularly nanosilica could be used in mosquito vector control.

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Valuable technical assistance provided by Kamal Dev, Narender Kumar and Satpal Singh of NIMR, Delhi is gratefully acknowledged.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Correspondence to Raghavendra Kamaraju.

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Barik, T.K., Kamaraju, R. & Gowswami, A. Silica nanoparticle: a potential new insecticide for mosquito vector control. Parasitol Res 111, 1075–1083 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-012-2934-6

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  • Silver Nanoparticle
  • Mosquito Species
  • Lymphatic Filariasis
  • Larval Mortality
  • Mosquito Vector