Battle against the mosquito

Could an earth friendly medicinal plant be the answer to tackling rampant mosquito breeding especially the Aedes albopictus that is known to cause dengue?images

While the anti malarial properties of pongamia pinnata are well documented in Indian medicine entomologists from Osmania University’s Zoology Department say silver nanoparticle extracts from the plant possess anti larval features too.

“ There is a lot of interest among researchers on the medicinal properties of Pongamia plant and there are multiple studies going on across the world. We were interested to find out its anti larval efficacy on Aedes albopictus which common in Hyderabad” explains B.Reddya Naik  entomologist and lead researcher.

downloadWhat promoted the researchers to explore Pongamia when research exists on the use of the Gambusia fish in curbing larvae? “When we studies the fish in our labs it was quite obvious that it was aggressive towards mosquito larvae in a controlled environment. However when you leave the  same fish out in the water it turns out that it has many more food sources and not merely just mosquito larvae” Dr. Naik points out.

The OU team that carried out the study are now on the lookout for those who can back their field tests. They say that their work on anti larval properties of Pongamia has already been published in open access journal Scientific Reasearch Publishing.Pongamia_Pinnata_Seeds

We are trying to take this study a stip further by actually implementing it on field. Present day insecticides are synthetic chemical products and costly. They are also giving rise to unintended implications like producing resistant strains of mosquitoes ecological imbalance and elimination of other organisms. We feel this herbal medicinal plant is the right answer for larva the entomologists explain.

The researchers say extracts of essential oils from plants constitute a rich source of bioactive compounds that are biodegradable and non toxic and can control larvae. Field tests have to be done for such alternatives they added.

Fact file

images (1)Mosquito breeding has become year long problem in Hyderabad. Action plan to control mosquito breeding the need of the hour. Asian tiger mosquito so called because of its white stripes. Aedes albopictus or the Asian Tiger mosquito is the prime dengue vector in Hyderabad. Compared to other mosquitoes Asian Tiger is aggressive and bites in the mornings too.

771The Gambusia fish in its natural surrounding has food other than only the mosquito larva.

Silver nanoparticle extracts from Pongamia are bio degradable which means they are earth friendly.

Courtesy      THE HINDU

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