Research Report

Adulticidal Effect of Crude Ethanol Extract of Phytolacca dodecandra on Anopheles gambiae  

J.O. Yugi1 , J.B. Okeyo-Owour2 , D.O. Omondi3
1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Kabianga, P.O. Box 2030-20200, Kericho, Kenya
2. School of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, P.O. Box 103-40404, Rongo, Kenya
3. Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Technical Univerity, P.O. Box 210-40601, Bondo-Kenya
Author    Correspondence author
Journal of Mosquito Research, 2016, Vol. 6, No. 1   doi: 10.5376/jmr.2016.06.0001
Received: 11 Jan., 2016    Accepted: 22 Feb., 2016    Published: 19 Apr., 2016
© 2016 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Yugi J.O., Okeyo-Owour J.B., and Omondi D.O., 2016, Adulticidal effect of crude ethanol extract of Phytolacca dodecandra on Anopheles gambiae, Journal of Mosquito Research, 6(1): 1-5 (doi: 10.5376/jmr.2016.06.0001)


Knockdown and not adulticidal effect of extracts of Phytolacca dodecandra (Endod) has been demonstrated against Anopheles gambiae adults. In this study we demonstrate adulticidal effect of ethanol extracts of mature green fruits and leaves of Endod on Anopheles gambiae adults in the laboratory.

Material & Methods: Different concentrations (80, 40, 20, 10, 10, 5 and 2.5 mg) of Ethanol extracts of leaf and mature green fruits of Endod, Neem and deltamethrin were used to impregnate standard Whatman No. 1 filter papers and wall surfaces.  Wall surfaces were modeled from plywood measuring 26 x 26 cm2. The surfaces were then smeared with a mixture of mud and cow dung, cement or used as it were (plain). Three to five day old laboratory and field sourced female An. gambiae were then exposed for five minutes, withdrawn put in clean paper cups and left to be observed for mortality after 24 hours.

Results: Mortalities of exposed female An. gambiae were higher for extracts of Endod sourced from the highlands than that from the lowlands for laboratory reared (60%) and (40%) and field sourced (30%) and (28%) respectively. Mortalities were higher on modeled surfaces (61%) than on Whatman No. 1 papers (30%). Toxicity level of extracts of Endod were below the WHO threshold of >80% mortality irrespective of part or source. Deltamethrin met the threshold on all surfaces while Neem on cement surfaces only.

Conclusion: Ethanol extracts of mature green fruits and leaves of Endod are a potential adulticide against An. gambiae adults.

Anopheles gambiae; Endod; Neem; Deltamethrin; Ethanol


Alternatives to synthetic products against malaria vector Anopheles gambiae are being sort as the available products are less effective due to resistance by the vector (Djogbénou et al., 2011; Ranson et al., 2011; Tiwari et al. 2010) and that their residues persist in the environment and harm human and other non target animals (Cartilla and De la Cruz, 2012). Lately there has been intense search for effective phytochemicals to replace synthetic insecticides. The reason, they are target specific, eco-friendly, biodegradability, cost-effectiveness and possess a complex chemistry that limits development of resistance by target organisms or pests (Miresmailli et al., 2006).


Since the identification of pyrethrum, rotenone, neem, and essential oils (Isman, 2006) for the control of insect vectors, other phytochemical extracts have since been added to the list (Govindarajan and Karuppannan, 2011, Govindarajan, 2010). Some of these have included crude hexane, ethyl acetate, benzene, chloroform, and methanol extracts of leaf of Eclipta alba and A. paniculata against Cx. Quinquefasciatus and Ae. aegypti (Govindarajan and Sivakumar, 2012), Delonix elata (Family: Fabaceae) against dengue vector, Aedes aegypti (Mohan and Marimuthu, 2014) and ethanol extracts of citrus oil against Aedes albopictus (Faisal et al., 2010).


Extracts from Endod has also been used and found potent against snails (Abebe et al., 2005; Erko et al., 2002) and An. gambiae larvae (Were, 2008) but has not been tested against adult An. gambiae mosquitoes. This study reports on the test and activities of crude ethanol extracts of Endod on laboratory reared and field sourced An. gambiae adults on modeled surfaces in a laboratory set up.


1 Results

The experiment was done for a period of twelve days and a total of 22,400 laboratories and 2,520 fields sourced but laboratory cultured An. gambiae mosquitoes used. On Whatman No.1 filter papers, extracts of mature green fruits of Endod sourced from the highlands killed more than 60% and 30% of laboratory and field sourced female An. gambiae mosquitoes respectively. Extracts of Endod from the highlands were more toxic that those from the lowlands for both mature fruits and leaves. Extracts of Neem leaves killed less than 35% of both laboratory and field sourced mosquitoes. A threshold of >80% mortality of exposed mosquitoes was demonstrated for deltamethrin for laboratory sourced mosquitoes only (Table 1).



Table 1 Percent mortality of laboratory cultured and wild An. gambiae mosquitoes exposed to different crude ethanol extracts of Endod


Extracts of Endod leaves were slightly more toxic than extracts from mature green fruits, killing more than 61% of exposed mosquitoes as opposed to 55% for mature green fruits on cement surfaces. High mortalities where observed on modeled cement followed by plain and then mud smeared wall surfaces for all exposures. None of the used concentrations of Endod extracts met the WHO threshold of >80% for adulticidal effectiveness regardless of part of plant, geographical source or nature of surface used. Extracts of Neem met the WHO threshold on cement surfaces only and deltamethrin met the condition on all surfaces (Table 2).



Table 2 Percent mortality of exposed laboratory cultured An. gambiae mosquitoes exposed to treatments on modeled wall surfaces 


2 Discussion

This study found crude ethanol extracts of Endod to have potential as adulticide against An. gambiae. Although the mortalities of exposed female mosquitoes were below the WHO threshold of > 80% mortality per exposure (WHO, 2006), the fact that these were exposures on crude extracts on improvised surfaces shows great potential. Interestingly a higher percent of exposed adult of An. gambiae mosquitoes died from exposure to extracts from Endod than Neem for both laboratory reared and wild mosquitoes. Neem has demonstrated effectiveness against mosquitoes (Shaalan et al., 2005) and other environmental pest of medical importance (Ogbuewu et al., 2011) and the fact that observed mortality of exposed mosquitoes to extracts of Endod were higher than those of Neem shows great promise on the potential of extracts of Endod as botanical adulticide.


When used on modeled wall surfaces, mortalities of both laboratories reared and wild sourced mosquitoes were higher for extracts of Endod leaves than fruits. In this study, percent mortalities of exposed mosquitoes were higher on cement surfaces followed by plain surfaces and lastly mud smeared. This finding was contrary to an earlier finding that found plain wooden surfaces to absorb more toxic components of bendiocarb WP, than either mud smeared or cement modeled surfaces but similar in the order of activity when deltamethrin WG was used (Etang et al., 2011).


Mortality of exposed mosquitoes was higher when extracts from Neem leaves were used on the modeled surfaces than extracts from either mature green fruits or leaves of Endod. In all cases the modeled wall surfaces were found to contribute significantly to the mortality of the exposed mosquitoes (p<0.05) when they were interrogated using Duncan’s regression procedure.


In conclusion, it was observed that ethanol extracts from mature green fruits and leaves of Endod were toxic against mature stages of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes. With pure samples, we envisage extracts of Endod being used as alternative source of insecticide against malaria vector in future.


3 Materials and Methods

3.1 Experimental mosquitoes and study area

Field sourced and laboratory reared (pink eye) An. gambiae were used in these experiments. Field mosquitoes were sourced from Ahero (Kenya) rice fields where larvae were collected using dippers and modified two litre plastic water pails, processed and transported to the laboratory at the Centre for Global Health Research/Kenya Medical Research Institute (CGHR/KEMRI) for further processing and culturing. The mosquitoes were then reared following standard techniques (Das et al., 2007). The rearing and experiments were conducted at the Entomology insectary and laboratory of CGHR/KEMRI. The temperatures within the insectary and the laboratory were maintained at 28-30℃, relative humidity at 70-80% and photoperiod of 12h light alternating with 12h darkness.


3.2 Modeling experimental wall surfaces

Standard WHO procedures (WHO, 2006) with slight modification were used to model wall surfaces to represent common residential wall surfaces to which adult mosquitoes rest. The surfaces were created from plywood measuring 26 cm × 26 cm. The surfaces were either left plain to depict wooden wall, smeared with cement to depict permanent or semi permanent houses with cement plaster walls or smeared with a mixture of mud and cow dung to depict mud walled houses as described elsewhere (Yugi et al., 2014).


3.3 Plant extract and deltamethrin (KOTab 1-2-3®) preparation

Leaves (shoot and midsection) and mature green fruits of Endod and leaves of Neem were used to obtain plant extracts. Endod plants were obtained from the highlands (Eldoret) and lowlands (Nyando) while Neem leaves were obtained from the lowlands (Nyando). The plants were prepared and extracted using standard methods (Parekh et al., 2005) and the extract kept in airtight glass bottles to serve as stock quantity. Deltamethrin (KOTab 1-2-3®) tablet weighing 1.6g and containing 0.4g deltamethrin (pyrethroid (250g/kg)) was bought from a local chemist, ground to powder before aliquoting.


Eighty milligrams of freeze-dried stock of leaf and fruit extracts and deltamethrin powder were weighed and serially diluted to obtain different concentrations of 80, 40, 20, 10, 5 and 2.5 mg as described elsewhere (Yugi et al., 2014).


3.4 Adulticidal assays

A serial diluant of a particular preparation (Leaf or fruit extract of Endod, leaf extract of Neem or deltamethrin) was applied to a modeled surface and left to stand in a shade for an hour to dry before use. WHO exposure cones were then clipped on the surfaces and then ten three to five day old female An. gambiae mosquitoes introduced in the confinement and left exposed for 5 minutes. After exposure, the mosquitoes were transferred to clean, dry holding paper cups and provided with 10% sugar solution for energy supplement. Mortality was recorded after 24 hours and WHO threshold of >80% used as a measure of effectiveness of toxicants (WHO, 2006).


3.5 Data analysis

Data obtained from the bioassays was entered in excel spreadsheets and then corrected for control mortality using Abbott’s formula (Abbott, 1925). The relationship between mortality and the effect of the extracts on source (part of Endod plant used) and surface applied on was determined using one way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The means were separated using LSD and differences between them considered significant at P<0.05. All statistical analysis was performed using SAS statistical package version 20.


Authors’ contributions

YJO conceived the concept, conducted the experiments and wrote the manuscript. YJO and O-OJB designed the experiments and sourced for funds. YJO and AR sourced for the wild mosquito larvae and cultured the mosquitoes.



We thank Richard Amito and Jessica Anyango for processing and culturing the experimental mosquitoes, Kisumu Polytechnic for providing equipments for the extractions of the phytochemicals from the plants, Centre for Global Health Research/Kenya Medical Research Institute (CGHR/KEMRI) for laboratory space, mosquitoes and equipments for conducting the experiments and VIRED International for providing transportation and logistics for sourcing for Endod and Neem. This project was funded by the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI).



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