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Adulticidal properties of synthesized silver nanoparticles using leaf extracts of Feronia elephantum (Rutaceae) against filariasis, malaria, and dengue vector mosquitoes

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Mosquito-borne diseases with an economic impact create loss in commercial and labor outputs, particularly in countries with tropical and subtropical climates. Mosquito control is facing a threat because of the emergence of resistance to synthetic insecticides. Extracts from plants may be alternative sources of mosquito control agents because they constitute a rich source of bioactive compounds that are biodegradable into nontoxic products and potentially suitable for use to control mosquitoes. Insecticides of botanical origin may serve as suitable alternative biocontrol techniques in the future. In view of the recently increased interest in developing plant origin insecticides as an alternative to chemical insecticide, in the present study, the adulticidal activity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) synthesized using Feronia elephantum plant leaf extract against adults of Anopheles stephensi, Aedes aegypti, and Culex quinquefasciatus was determined. The range of concentrations of synthesized AgNPs (8, 16, 24, 32, and 40 μg mL−1) and aqueous leaf extract (40, 80, 120, 160, and 200 μg mL−1) were tested against the adults of A. stephensi, A. aegypti, and C. quinquefasciatus. Adults were exposed to varying concentrations of aqueous crude extract and synthesized AgNPs for 24 h. Considerable mortality was evident after the treatment of F. elephantum for all three important vector mosquitoes. The synthesized AgNPs from F. elephantum were highly toxic than crude leaf aqueous extract to three important vector mosquito species. The results were recorded from UV–visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis (EDX), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Synthesized AgNPs against the vector mosquitoes A. stephensi, A. aegypti, and C. quinquefasciatus had the following lethal dose (LD)50 and LD90 values: A. stephensi had LD50 and LD90 values of 18.041 and 32.575 μg mL−1; A. aegypti had LD50 and LD90 values of 20.399 and 37.534 μg mL−1; and C. quinquefasciatus had LD50 and LD90 values of 21.798 and 39.596 μg mL−1. No mortality was observed in the control. These results suggest that the leaf aqueous extracts of F. elephantum and green synthesis of AgNPs have the potential to be used as an ideal eco-friendly approach for the control of the A. stephensi, A. aegypti, and C. quinquefasciatus. This is the first report on the adulticidal activity of the plant extracts and AgNPs.

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The authors would like to thank the Professor and Head of the Department of Zoology, Annamalai University, for the laboratory facilities provided. The authors would also like to acknowledge the cooperation of staff members of the VCRC (ICMR), Pondicherry and thank Dr. S. Ramesh, Professor and Head, Veterinary College, Vepery, Chennai for TEM analysis.

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Correspondence to Marimuthu Govindarajan.

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Veerakumar, K., Govindarajan, M. Adulticidal properties of synthesized silver nanoparticles using leaf extracts of Feronia elephantum (Rutaceae) against filariasis, malaria, and dengue vector mosquitoes. Parasitol Res 113, 4085–4096 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-014-4077-4

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  • Green synthesis
  • Silver nanoparticles
  • Feronia elephantum
  • Adulticidal activity
  • Mosquitoes