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01.12.2012 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

Malaria Journal 1/2012

Screening of selected ethnomedicinal plants from South Africa for larvicidal activity against the mosquito Anopheles arabiensis

Malaria Journal > Ausgabe 1/2012
Rajendra Maharaj, Vinesh Maharaj, Neil R Crouch, Niresh Bhagwandin, Peter I Folb, Pamisha Pillay, Reshma Gayaram
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1475-2875-11-320) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

There have been no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

RM was involved in designing of the study and supervising trials. RG conducted the experiments and was involved in the interpretation of the results. NRC was involved in rationally selecting suitable plant candidates for investigation. Extracts were prepared by VM and PP. NB and PF coordinated and provided scientific inputs into the entire study. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



This study was initiated to establish whether any South African ethnomedicinal plants (indigenous or exotic), that have been reported to be used traditionally to repel or kill mosquitoes, exhibit effective mosquito larvicidal properties.


Extracts of a selection of plant taxa sourced in South Africa were tested for larvicidal properties in an applicable assay. Thirty 3rd instar Anopheles arabiensis larvae were exposed to various extract types (dichloromethane, dichloromethane/methanol) (1:1), methanol and purified water) of each species investigated. Mortality was evaluated relative to the positive control Temephos (Mostop; Agrivo), an effective emulsifiable concentrate larvicide.


Preliminary screening of crude extracts revealed substantial variation in toxicity with 24 of the 381 samples displaying 100% larval mortality within the seven day exposure period. Four of the high activity plants were selected and subjected to bioassay guided fractionation. The results of the testing of the fractions generated identified one fraction of the plant, Toddalia asiatica as being very potent against the An. arabiensis larvae.


The present study has successfully identified a plant with superior larvicidal activity at both the crude and semi pure fractions generated through bio-assay guided fractionation. These results have initiated further research into isolating the active compound and developing a malaria vector control tool.
Additional file 1: Table S1. Mosquito larvicidal screening results of extracts from South African ethnomedicinal plants.(XLS 70 KB)
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