Larvicidal activity against aedes aegypti of foeniculum vulgare essential oils from Portugal and Cape Verde

Diara Kady Rocha, Olivia Matos, Maria Teresa Novo, Ana Cristina Figueiredo, Manuel Delgado, Cristina Moiteiro

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Dengue is a potentially fatal mosquito-borne infection with 50 million cases per year and 2.5 billion people vulnerable to the disease. This major public health problem has recurrent epidemics in Latin America and occurred recently in Cape Verde and Madeira Island. The lack of anti-viral treatment or vaccine makes the control of mosquito vectors a high option to prevent virus transmission. Essential oil (EO) constituents can affect insect's behaviour, being potentially effective in pest control. The present study evaluated the potential use of Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) EO in the control of the dengue vector Aedes aegypti. EOs isolated from fennel aerial parts collected in Cape Verde and from a commercial fennel EO of Portugal were analysed by NMR, GC and GC-MS. Trans-Anethole (32 and 30%, respectively), limonene (28 and 18%, respectively) and fenchone (10% in both cases) were the main compounds identified in the EOs isolated from fennel from Cape Verde and Portugal, respectively. The larvicidal activity of the EOs and its major constituents were evaluated, using WHO procedures, against third instar larvae of Ae. aegypti for 24 h. Pure compounds, such as limonene isomers, were also assayed. The lethal concentrations LC50, LC90 and LC99 were determined by probit analysis using mortality rates of bioassays. A 99% mortality of Ae. aegypti larvae was estimated at 37.1 and 52.4 μ L L-l of fennel EOs from Cape Verde and Portugal, respectively. Bioassays showed that fennel EOs from both countries displayed strong larvicidal effect against Ae. aegypti, the Cape Verde EO being as active as one of its major constituents, (-)-limonene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-682
Number of pages6
JournalNatural Product Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Aromatic plants
  • Essential oils
  • Foeniculum vulgare
  • Larvicidal activity
  • Vector control


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