Acute toxicity and repellent activity of the Origanum scabrum Boiss. & Heldr. (Lamiaceae) essential oil against four mosquito vectors of public health importance and its biosafety on non-target aquatic organisms

Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Sep 2016

The recent outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus highlighted the pivotal importance of mosquito vector control in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. However, mosquito control is facing hot challenges, mainly due to the rapid development of pesticide resistance in Culicidae and the limited success of biocontrol programs on Aedes mosquitoes. In this framework, screening botanicals for their mosquitocidal potential may offer effective and eco-friendly tools in the fight against mosquitoes. In the present study, the essential oil (EO) obtained from the medicinal plant Origanum scabrum was analyzed by GC-MS and evaluated for its mosquitocidal and repellent activities towards Anopheles stephensi, Aedes aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus, and Culex tritaeniorhynchus. GC-MS analysis showed a total of 28 compounds, representing 97.1 % of the EO. The major constituents were carvacrol (48.2 %) and thymol (16.6 %). The EO was toxic effect to the A. stephensi, A. aegypti, C. quinquefasciatus, and C. tritaeniorhynchus larvae, with LC50 of 61.65, 67.13, 72.45, and 78.87 μg/ml, respectively. Complete ovicidal activity was observed at 160, 200, 240, and 280 μg/ml, respectively. Against adult mosquitoes, LD50 were 122.38, 134.39, 144.53, and 158.87 μg/ml, respectively. In repellency assays, the EOs tested at 1.0, 2.5, and 5.0 mg/cm2 concentration of O. scabrum gave 100 % protection from mosquito bites up to 210, 180, 150, and 120 min, respectively. From an eco-toxicological point of view, the EO was tested on three non-target mosquito predators, Gambusia affinis, Diplonychus indicus, and Anisops bouvieri, with LC50 ranging from 4162 to 12,425 μg/ml. Overall, the EO from O. scabrum may be considered as a low-cost and eco-friendly source of phytochemicals to develop novel repellents against Culicidae.

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Acute toxicity and repellent activity of the Origanum scabrum Boiss. & Heldr. (Lamiaceae) essential oil against four mosquito vectors of public health importance and its biosafety on non-target aquatic organisms

Environ Sci Pollut Res Acute toxicity and repellent activity of the Origanum scabrum Boiss. & Heldr. (Lamiaceae) essential oil against four mosquito vectors of public health importance and its biosafety on non-target aquatic organisms Marimuthu Govindarajan 1 2 3 Shine Kadaikunnan 1 2 3 Naiyf S. Alharbi 1 2 3 Giovanni Benelli 0 1 2 3 0 Insect Behavior Group, Department of Agriculture , Food and Environment , University of Pisa , via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa , Italy 1 Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University , Riyadh 11451 , Saudi Arabia 2 Unit of Vector Control, Phytochemistry and Nanotechnology, Department of Zoology, Annamalai University , Annamalainagar, TN 608 002 , India 3 Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues 4 Giovanni Benelli The recent outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus highlighted the pivotal importance of mosquito vector control in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. However, mosquito control is facing hot challenges, mainly due to the rapid development of pesticide resistance in Culicidae and the limited success of biocontrol programs on Aedes mosquitoes. In this framework, screening botanicals for their mosquitocidal potential may offer effective and ecofriendly tools in the fight against mosquitoes. In the present study, the essential oil (EO) obtained from the medicinal plant Origanum scabrum was analyzed by GC-MS and evaluated for its mosquitocidal and repellent activities towards Anopheles stephensi, Aedes aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus, and Culex tritaeniorhynchus. GC-MS analysis showed a total of 28 compounds, representing 97.1 % of the EO. The major constituents were carvacrol (48.2 %) and thymol (16.6 %). The EO was toxic effect to the A. stephensi, A. aegypti, C. quinquefasciatus, and C. tritaeniorhynchus larvae, with LC50 of 61.65, 67.13, 72.45, and 78.87 μg/ml, respectively. Botanical insecticides; Repellent; Anopheles stephensi; Aedes aegypti; Culex quinquefasciatus; Culex tritaeniorhynchus; Non-target organisms Introduction Mosquito-borne diseases include malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, filariasis, and Zika virus, which are major public health problems (Mehlhorn 2008; Mehlhorn et al. 2012; Benelli et al. 2016a, b, c) . The incidence of malaria is, however, gradually receding, with a consistent decline in case over the past few years, even if the spread of chloroquine- and artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium strains is a real threat nowadays (Dev et al. 2004; Jensen and Mehlhorn 2009; Benelli and Mehlhorn 2016) . On the other hand, the recent outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus highlighted the pivotal importance of mosquito vector control (Benelli 2015a) . Furthermore, Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a serious illness with lifelong neuropsychiatric sequelae. The risk of infection is high for geographical locations of human habitation near paddy fields/water bodies (the breeding habitat of JE vectors), with the presence of pigs (amplification host) in close proximity. The menace of JE is growing and spreading in areas hitherto free from the disease, with increased morbidity and mortality (Sharma et al. 2014). Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for the arboviruses mentioned above; thus, the constructive and environment-friendly restraint of mosquito vectors is of great importance for public health (Benelli 2016a, b; Benelli and Mehlhorn 2016; Benelli et al. 2015a, b) . The employment of synthetic pesticides, including organophosphates such as fenthion, temephos, and insect growth regulators, such as methoprene and diflubenzuron, currently represent an effective control method to control young instar populations of mosquito vectors (Liu et al. 2012) . However, the extensive and indiscriminate use of these synthetic insecticides has led to heavy concerns for human health and the environment (Isman 2006; Benelli 2015a; Naqqash et al. 2016) . Hence, there is a request of novel tools for Culicidae control. Plant-borne insecticides, as well as essential oils (EOs), are encouraging since they are effective at reduced doses, environmental-friendly, biodegradable, and often economical (Benelli 2015b; Pavela 2015a; Govindarajan and Benelli 2016a, b, c; Govindarajan et al. 2011, 2013a, b) . Thus, recent research focused on plant EOs and extracts as possible sources of arthropod ovicidal, larvicidal, adulticidal, and repellent compounds (e.g., Cheng et al. 2003, 2004; Govindarajan 2010a; Govindarajan et al. 2011; Dinesh et al. 2015; Madhiyazhagan et al. 2015; Murugan et al. 2015a, b, c; Pavela 2015b; Suresh et al. 2015; Benelli et al. 2016b; Jaganathan et al. 2016; Panneerselvam et al. 2016) . Notably, the EOs extracted from plants belonging to the Lamiaceae family have been widely studied for their toxic a c t i on a g a i n s t s e v e r a l m os q u i t o s p e c i e s ( B e ne l l i 2015b; Pavela 2015a) . Good examples are the larvicidal EOs obtained from Clausena anisata (Govindarajan 2010b) , Coleus aromaticus (Govindarajan et al. 2013b) , Dalbergia sisoo (Ansari et al. 2000a) , Hyptis martiusii (Araujo et al. 2003) , Hyptis suaveolens (Sakthivadivel et al. 2015) , Lavandula gibsoni (Kulkarni et al. 2013) , Lippia sidoides (Lima et al. 2013) , Moschosma polystachyum (Rajkumar and Jebanesan 2004) , Mentha spicata (Govindarajan et al. 2012) , Mentha piperita (Ansari et al. 2000b) , Mentha longifolia (Pav ela et al. 2014 ), Ocimum basilicum (Govindarajan et al. 2013a) , Ocimum selloi (Padilha de Paula et al. 2003), Ocimum americanum (Tawatsin et al. 2001) , Ocimum gratissimum (Cavalcanti et al. 2004) , Ocimum sanctum (Gbolade and Lockwood 2008) , Plectranthus barbatus (Govindarajan et al. 2016a) , Plectranthus ambonicus (Lima et al. 2011) , Plectranthus mollis (Kulkarni et al. 2013) , Pogostemon cablin (Trongtokit et al. 2005) , Pulegium vulgare (Pav ela et al. 2014 ), Rosmarinus officinalis (Prajapati et al. 2005) , Satureja hortensis (Pavela 2009) , Tagetus minuta (Perich et al. 1995) , T h y m u s v u l g a r i s ( E l - A k h a l e t a l . 2 0 1 6 ) , T h y m u s leucospermus, Thymus teucrioides (Pitarokili et al. 2011) , Vitex agnus castus (Cetin et al. 2011) , and others (Cheng et al. 2003; Traboulsi et al. 2005; Pavela et al. 2014) . EOs extracted from plants of the genus Origanum showed mosquito larvicidal (Isman et al. 2001) , pupicidal (Calmasur et al. 2006) , and adulticidal potential against different insect pests (Yildirim et al. 2005) . In particularly, EOs extracted from Origanum compactum (Lahlou et al. 2001) , Origanum syriacum (Traboulsi et al. 2002) , Origanum majorana ( ElAlhak et al. 2016 ), Origanum Onites, and Origanum minutiflorum (Cetin and Yanikoglu 2006) exhibited larvicidal action against Culex pipiens, while EO obtained from the leaves of Origanum vulgare was toxic against larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus, Culex tritaeniorhynchus, Anopheles subpictus, and Anopheles stephensi (Govindarajan et al. 2016b) . Origanum scabrum Boiss. & Heldr. (Lamiaceae) is a rhizomatous perennial species with erect, branching stems to 45 cm long. Leaves are blue-green, pointed, cordate, l–3 cm long with conspicuous veins. Small flowers are in loose panicles with pink to purple bracts up to 1 cm long. A number of secondary metabolites have been isolated from the aerial parts of the O. scabrum (Tanja et al. 2012) . As far as we know, there are no data about the mosquitocidal activity of O. scabrum. Therefore, this study was focused on the ovicidal, larvicidal, adulticidal, and repellent potential of the O. scabrum EO versus C. quinquefasciatus, C. tritaeniorhynchus, A. aegypti, and A. subpictus. The EO constituents were examined using GC-MS techniques. Furthermore, we studied the biotoxicity of the EO on three non-target organisms, Gambusia affinis, Diplonychus indicus, and Anisops bouvieri. Materials and methods Plant harvest and extraction of essential oil Fresh, healthy O. scabrum leaves were collected from the hills of Kolli, in Tamil Nadu, India. A taxonomist from Department of Botany, Annamalai University, carried out the species identification. The herbarium of Annamalai University, India, holds vouchers of the specimens. The EO was isolated after 3 kg of fresh leaves where hydrodistilled for 6 h in a Clevenger apparatus. A funnel was used to separate the EO layer from the aqueous phase. Anhydrous sodium sulfate was used to dry the resulting EO, which was dark stored in at 4 °C until the time of the experiment. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry An Agilent 6890 GC with an HP-5 (5 % phenyl-methyl polysiloxane) capillary column and a 5973-N mass selective detector was used to perform GC-MC analysis. Temperature in the oven gradually progressed from 50 to 280 °C with a rhythm of 4 °C per minute and remained steady at 280 °C for 5 min. Interface and inlet temperatures were 280 and 250 °C, respectively. Helium was used as a carrier gas, at a constant flow rate of 1.0 ml min−1. A 20:1 split was used to inject the 0.2-μl sample. Electron impact mass spectrometry was conducted at 70 eV. Ion source temperature was 230 °C, whereas quadrupole temperatures were held at 150 °C. To identify the various compounds, we compared their mass spectra and retention indices with the ones contained in commercial libraries NIST 98.1 and MassFinder 3.1. The chromatographer’s integration area was used to calculate each constituent’s relative concentration. Mosquitoes Following the method by Govindarajan and Sivakumar (2015) , pathogen-free strains of A. stephensi, A. aegypti, C. quinquefasciatus, and C. tritaeniorhynchu were cultured in the mosquito laboratory of Zoology, Annamalai University. The larvae were maintained at 27 ± 2 °C, 70– 80 % relative humidity (RH), with a 12:12 light and dark photoperiod cycle and fed with yeast powder and dog biscuit in 1:3 proportions. Adults were fed with blood meal using a membrane fed apparatus along with 10 % sucrose solution. Larvicidal activity Here, we evaluated the larvicidal action of the O. scabrum EO according to standard procedures (WHO 2005; Govindarajan and Benelli 2016a, b, c) . EO was examined at concentrations of 30, 60, 90,120, and 150 μg/ml. The desired concentrations were obtained by dissolving the EO in 1 ml DMSO and then diluting it in 249 ml of filtered tap water. The control comprised 1 ml of DMSO in 249 ml of water. Twenty early thirdinstar larvae were tested into each solution. For each concentration, five replicates were carried out and larval mortality was noted 24 h following exposure, during which the larvae were not feed. Ovicidal activity To test the EO ovicidal activity, we employed the method by Su and Mulla (1998) after incorporating the slight modification described by Govindarajan et al. (2008) . Different EO concentrations (from 40 to 240 μg/ml) were tested, and eggs of this mosquito species were immersed into solutions of each concentration (n = 100 for 0–6-, 6–12-, and 12–18-h-old egg rafts). Following exposure, eggs corresponding to each concentration were placed into cups containing distilled water, counted with the help of a photomicroscope (Leica, Germany), and assessed for hatching. All experiments were repeated six times, accompanied by appropriate controls. We used the formula below to assess the hatch rates, 48 h after treatment. Egg hatchabilityð%Þ ¼ Number of hatched larvae Total number of eggs 100 Adulticidal activity The WHO methodology (1981) was employed to assess adulticidal activity. EO concentrations ranging from 60 to 300 μg/ml, in 60-μg/ml increments, were applied on 12 × 15-cm-sized Whatman no. 1 filter papers. Control papers were treated with DMSO under similar conditions. A plastic holding tube was used to house 20 females; a 1-h period of acclimatization was allowed for the mosquitoes, followed by 1-h exposure to the test paper. Following exposure, the mosquitoes were returned to the tube and kept 24 h for recovery period. A cotton pad, soaked in a 10 % glucose solution, was placed on the mesh screen. Every experiment and the relative controls were repeated five times. (a) (b) OH OH Fig. 1 Chemical structures of a carvacrol and b thymol, the two major constituents of the Origanum scabrum essential oil Peak Components Retention time (Kovats index) Composition (%) Mode of identification Three EO dilutions in DMSO, 1.0, 2.0, and 5.0 mg/cm2, were prepared. A special blood-containing feeding membrane, which is used to feed mosquitoes, was exposed to the EO and then fitted in a 1-ft cage, with temperature kept at 37 °C through a 40–45 °C circulating water bath. Approximately 50 unfed 3–4-day-old laboratory reared pathogen-free strains of A. aegypti, A. stephensi, C. tritaeniorhynchus, and C. quinquefasciatus were introduced in the aforementioned cage. The time it took for the first feeding in the cage where the repellent-treated membrane was fitted to be observed at 30-min intervals and each observation lasts for 60 s. The experiment was repeated five times to confirm reproducible results. The time taken for feeding to complete was defined as protection time. The control was an identical test, where the feeding membrane was not treated with any repellent. The testing period was 06.00–14.00 h for A. aegypti and 18.00– 02.00 h for A. stephensi, C. quinquefasciatus, and C. tritaeniorhynchus (Govindarajan and Sivakumar 2015) . The percentage of repellency was calculated by the following formula: Repellency ð%Þ ¼ ðTa–TbÞ. Ta 100 where Ta is the number of mosquitoes in the control group and Tb is the number of mosquitoes in the treated group. Toxicity on non-target aquatic organisms T he m et h od ol og y de ve l o pe d b y S i va gn a na m e an d Kalyanasundaram (2004) was used to assess the EO’s effect on non-target organisms. The O. scabrum EO was tested for toxicity against three non-target mosquito predators, D. indicus, A. bouvieri, and G. affinis. These organisms were collected in the field and kept separated in cement tanks (85cm wide and 30-cm deep), containing water at 27 ± 3 °C and external relative humidity of 85 %. The EO of O. scabrum was examined at concentrations that were 50 times higher than the LC50 doses calculated on mosquito larvae. Five replicates were carried out for each concentration, accompanied by four replicates of untreated controls. In additions, the non-target organisms under test were observed consecutively for 10 days to investigate the post-treatment influence of the extract on their survival and swimming ability. NH no hatchability (100 % mortality) No mortality was observed in the control SD standard deviation, LD50 lethal dose that kills 50 % of the exposed organisms, LD90 lethal dose that kills 90 % of the exposed organisms, UCL 95 % upper confidence limit, LCL 95 % lower confidence limit, χ2 chi square, df degrees of freedom, n.s. not significant (α = 0.05) a Values are mean ± SD of five replicates Data analysis Mortality data were subjected to probit analysis. LC90 (LD90) and LC50 (LD50) were estimated relying to the method by Finney (1971) . ANOVA analysis, followed by Tukey’s HSD test (P < 0.05), was employed to investigate ovicidal and repellence data. The suitability index (SI) was used to assess biotoxicity on no-target organisms; the index was calculated through the following formula (Deo et al. 1988) : SI ¼ LC50of non−target organisms LC50of target vector species Data analysis was carried out using the SPSS Statistical Software Package version 16.0. The significance of differences between values was assessed at the 0.05 probability level. Results and discussion Yield and chemical composition of essential oil The yield of EO of O. scabrum was 1.5 % (w/v); 28 compounds were identified and accounted for 97.1 % of the EO chemical composition. The major chemical compounds of EO were carvacrol (48.2 %) and thymol (16.6 %; Fig. 1). The percentage of composition of remaining 26 compounds ranged from 0.6 to 3.9 % (Table 1). The leaves of the Origanum herbs are rich in EOs, which confers them characteristic fragrances. In agreement with our data, Aligiannis et al. (2001) also reported that the main constituents of O. scabrum EO are carvacrol and thymol. However, several studies have shown that the EOs of aromatic species can differ in quality, quantity, and composition according to climate, soil composition, geographical location, seasonal variation, plant organ, age, and vegetative cycle stage and harvesting time (Abu Lafi et al. 2008; Zein et al. 2011) . Mosquitocidal and repellent activities of the essential oil O. scabrum EO exhibited moderate toxicity on A. aegypti, A. stephensi, C. quinquefasciatus, and C. tritaeniorhynchus larvae (Table 2). The LC50 values were 61.65, 67.13, 72.45, and 78.87 μg/ml, respectively. The ovicidal activity of O . s c a b r u m E O o n A . a e g y p t i , A . s t e p h e n s i , C. quinquefasciatus, and C. tritaeniorhynchus was shown in )(5 )(5 ()5 ()5 )(5 ()5 ()5 )(5 )(5 )(5 ()5 ()5 .561 .897 .462 .854 .682 .731 .583 .675 .539 .285 .872 .946 21 31 35 46 49 52 46 52 60 30 48 52 ) 5 0 . 0 < P , t s e t s ’ y e k u T d n aA Biosafety of the essential oil on mosquito natural enemies V O AN The toxicity of the EO of O. scabrum on the predatory insects t(en D. indicus and A. bouvieri and the fish G. affinis is presented frfe in Table 6. LC50ranged from 4162 to 12,425μg/ml. G. affinis iyd was the least vulnerable animal to this EO if compared to ltan D. indicus and A. bouvieri. SI/PSF indicated that this EO iifc waslessharmfultothenon-targetorganismtestedifcompared isgn to targeted mosquito species (Table 7). In addition, we obtno served that survival and swimming activity of the test species rae were not altered during the exposure at LC50 and LC90 doses ttre of the EO. lee Only little attempts have been carried out to shed light on sam the consequence of EOs and other botanical-based insectiteh cides on mosquito predators as well as on other non-target yb organisms (Benelli 2016a, b; Benelli et al. ed 2016c; Subramaniam et al. 2015, 2016) . In some cases, the w llo EOswerefoundmoretoxiconthepredatoryinsectsandfishes fow than towards immature mosquitoes (Conti et al. 2014). rao However, recent research is reversing this scenario. Our reinh sults are in accordance with a recent research showing that the tiw EO, α-cadinol, and germacrene D-4-ol from Zanthoxylum san monophyllum are safe for G. affinis and toxic for several speeM cies of mosquito larvae. Indeed, the LC50 values were 4234, χ2 (df) 6.493 (4) n.s. 7.475 (4) n.s. 5.593 (4) n.s. No mortality was observed in the control SD standard deviation, LC50 lethal concentration that kills 50 % of the exposed organisms, LC90 lethal concentration that kills 90 % of the exposed organisms, UCL 95 % upper confidence limit, LCL 95 % lower confidence limit, χ2 chi square, df degrees of freedom, n.s. not significant (α = 0.05) a Values are mean ± SD of five replicates 635, and 414 μg/ml, respectively. The EO can be considered completely safe for G . affi nis (Pavela and Govindarajan 2016) . Moreover, EO (LC50 = 20,374 μg/ ml), β-elemene (LC50 = 2073 μg/ml), and α-humulene (LC50 = 1024 μg/ml) from Syzygium zeylanicum are also safe towards mosquito predatory fish G. affinis (Govindarajan and Benelli 2016a) . Also, the EO of Pinus kesiya was tested against G. affinis, D. indicus, and A. bouvieri with the LC50 values ranging from 4135 to 8390 μg/ml. No harmful consequences were established for applications lower than 500 μg/ml, which lead to 100 % mortality of targeted immature mosquitoes (Govindarajan et al. 2016c) . Lastly, Govindarajan et al. (2016d) reported that the effect of EO of Zingiber nimmonii towards G. affinis (LC50 = 16,670 μg/ml) and D. indicus (LC50 = 3241 μg/ml) was also negligible. Conclusions Screening botanicals for their mosquitocidal potential may offer effective and eco-friendly tools in the fight against mosquitoes (Pavela 2015b; Benelli 2016c; Benelli and Mehlhorn 2016) . In this study, the EO extracted from the medicinal plant O. scabrum was analyzed by GC-MS and evaluated for its mosquitocidal and repellent potential towards A. stephensi, A. aegypti, C. quinquefasciatus, and C. tritaeniorhynchus. Both acute toxicity and repellent activity against mosquitoes were detected. However, while ovicidal and larvicidal action is moderate, the repellent potential is promising, allowing us to consider further the EO from O. scabrum as a low-cost and eco-friendly source of phytochemicals to develop newer and safer mosquito repellents. Acknowledgments Prof. P. Garrigues and two anonymous reviewers kindly improved an earlier version of the manuscript. The authors extend their sincere appreciations to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for funding this Prolific Research Group (PRG-143736). The authors would like to thank Professor and Head of the Department of Zoology, Annamalai University, for the laboratory provisions granted. Compliance with ethical standards All applicable international and national guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted. 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Marimuthu Govindarajan, Shine Kadaikunnan, Naiyf S. Alharbi, Giovanni Benelli. Acute toxicity and repellent activity of the Origanum scabrum Boiss. & Heldr. (Lamiaceae) essential oil against four mosquito vectors of public health importance and its biosafety on non-target aquatic organisms, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2016, DOI: 10.1007/s11356-016-7568-2