Friday, 30 October 2009

Neem Extracts - NeemAzal T/S: Azadirachta indica as larvicide of harmful, disease-causing mosquitoes

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Oct 27: Indian vector control experts have now found that extracts from the common neem can
fight the spread of dangerous diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya, by killing the mosquitoes that
harbour the causative organisms.

Mosquito species like Aedes, Anopheles and Culex carry harmful organisms that cause chikungunya,
dengue, malaria and elephantiasis. The spread of mosquitoes is controlled world-wide by spraying synthetic pyrethroids like permethrin, deltamethrin and alpha-cypermethrin.These chemical insecticides kill mosquitoes but cause untold damage to environment and human health. Moreover, many species of mosquitoes have developed resistance to chemical pesticides.
A team of researchers from the Vector Control Research Centre has found that Azadirachta indica (Indian neem) to be a potential resource for the development of new insecticides for arresting the spread of mosquitoes. The neem extracts can also be used for the treatment of netting or housing.
Though neem products have been used world over in agriculture and gardening to control pests, they have
never been tested on human pathogens and mosquitoes or disease vectors. According to the researchers, Dr
K Gunasekaran and Dr T Vijaykumar, the neem extracts effectively control adult mosquitoes as well as
their larvae.

"Antiviral activity of neem leaf extracts has been evidenced against dengue virus, HIV and several important parasitic protozoa, including Trypanosoma, Leishmania and Plasmodium. The neem product, NeemAzal T/S 1.2 per cent EC, has successfully controlled mosquitoes like Anopheles stephensi, Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes aegypti," the study pointed out.
The produce, when used even in minute quantities (less than 1 ppm), kills 50 per cent of larvae before they become adult mosquitoes. NeemAzal T/S 1.2 per cent EC is a promising insecticide to complement currently used biological larvae control agents including larvivourous fish, the researchers said.

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Syed Akbar at the 11th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity