Preliminary evaluation of the repellent activity of some plant essential oils against Simulium damnosum s.l., the vector of human onchocerciasis

  • M. S. O. Aisien
  • A. A. Imasuen
  • V. A. Wagbatsoma
  • B. A. Ayinde
Short Communication


Volatile oils of Citrus sinensis, Ageratum conyzoides, Cymbopogon citratus, Callistemon rigidus and Ocimum gratissimum were tested as repellents against blackfly, Simulium damnosum s.l., the vector of human onchocerciaisis. Topical applications of 10 and 20% v/v concentrations of the oils with liquid paraffin as the carrier, were made on the forearms and legs of four volunteers, with ordinary paraffin oil used as the control. At 10% v/v concentration the protection time was between 30 min and 1 h with the Citrus, Ageratum, Cymbopogon and Callistemon oils. At 20% Citrus, Ageratum and Cymbopogon oils repelled the blackflies for up to 2 h while Callistemon and Ocimum oils were effective for 3 h. Application of these volatile oils, especially at the peak biting periods, would serve to reduce human-vector contact and thereby limit disease transmission.

Key words

plant volatile oils repellent action blackfly Simulium damnosum s.l. onchocerciaisis essential oils 


Des huiles essentielles de Citrus sineensis, Ageratum conyzoides, Cymbopogon citratus, Callistemon rigidus et Ocimum gratissimum ont été testées pour leur pouvoir répulsif contre la simulie, Simulium damnosum s. l., le vecteur de l’onchocercose humaine. Des applications ponctuelles à des concentrations d’huiles de 10 et 20% v/v mélangées avec de la paraffine ont été appliquées sur les avant-bras et les jambes de quatre volontaires avec de l’huile de paraffine utilisée comme témoin. A la concentration de 10% v/v la durée de la protection est comprise entre 30mn et 1h avec les huiles de Citrus, Ageratum, Cymbopogon et Callistemon. A 20% les huiles de Citrus, Ageratum et Cymbopogon repoussent les simulies pendant prés de 2h alors que les huiles de Callistemon et d’Ocimum sont efficaces pendant 3h. L’application de ces huiles essentielles, en particulier au moment du pic de piqûres des simulies, pourraient permettre de réduire le contact du vecteur avec l’homme et ainsi limiter la transmission de la maladie.

Mots clés

Huiles volatiles de plantes action répulsive simulie Simulium damnosum s.l. onchocercose huiles essentielles 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. S. O. Aisien
    • 1
  • A. A. Imasuen
    • 1
  • V. A. Wagbatsoma
    • 2
  • B. A. Ayinde
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Parasitology Research, Department of ZoologyUniversity of BeninBenin CityNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Community Health, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of BeninBenin CityNigeria
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of BeninBenin CityNigeria

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