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Contact: Charlotte Webber
charlotte.webber@biomedcentral.com
44-020-763-19980
BioMed Central

Ayurvedic nightshade deadly for dengue mosquito

Mosquitoes responsible for spreading disease are increasingly becoming resistant to synthetic insecticides. Now research published in the online open access journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests that the berries of a weed common to India, Solanum villosum (S villosum), have potential for keeping mosquitoes at bay.

S. villosum is a member of the nightshade family known for its medicinal properties and commonly used as an ayurvedic herb.

Nandita Chowdhury, Anupam Ghosh and Goutam Chandra from Burdwan University, West Bengal, India used juice and extracts from the berries of S. villosum, on Stegomyia aegypti, (S. aegypti), which can spread a number of viruses including dengue fever and yellow fever and is commonly known as the yellow fever mosquito.

The authors found that S. villosum was particularly effective at eliminating S. aegypti larvae. Although it was not as potent as a chemical insecticide such as Malathion, the authors suggest that plant extracts from S. villosum have the potential for use in stagnant water where the mosquitoes breed. The next step is to identify the active compounds in the berries and to test whether these are effective in field trials.

“We found that these plants produce two types of phytochemicals.’ says Chandra. ‘The most interesting are the secondary phytochemicals, such as steroids, terpenoids, flavonoids and alkaloids – these act as a repellent which protect against the lethal effects of the larval mosquitoes.’

A number of plants have been reported for their anti-mosquito activity. Most of the studies report the active compounds to be steroidal saponins, which are thought to kill larvae by interfering with their cuticle membranes. However, only a few botanicals have moved from the laboratory to field use.

Around two-fifths of the World’s population is at risk from dengue fever, which is characterized by a high fever, pain and rashes. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a potentially lethal complication, affecting mainly children.

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Notes to Editors:

1. Mosquito larvicidal activities of Solanum villosum berry extract against the dengue vector Stegomyia aegypti
Nandita Chowdhury, Anupam Ghosh and Goutam Chandra
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (in press)

During the embargo please email charlotte.webber@biomedcentral.com for a copy of the manuscript

After the embargo, article available at the journal website: http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmccomplementalternmed/

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central’s open access policy.

Article citation and URL available on request at press@biomedcentral.com on the day of publication

2. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed research articles in complementary and alternative healthcare interventions, with a specific emphasis on those that elucidate biological mechanisms of action. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (ISSN 1472-6882) is indexed/tracked/covered by PubMed, MEDLINE, CAS, Scopus, EMBASE and Google Scholar.

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an independent online publishing house committed to providing immediate access without charge to the peer-reviewed biological and medical research it publishes. This commitment is based on the view that open access to research is essential to the rapid and efficient communication of science.



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