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In vitro anti-tick properties of the essential oil of Tagetes minuta L. (Asteraceae) on Hyalomma rufipes (Acari: Ixodidae)

Felix Nchu, Solomon R. Magano, Jacobus N. Eloff

Onderstepoort J Vet Res; Vol 79, No 1 (2012), 5 pages. doi: 10.4102/ojvr.v79i1.358

Submitted: 28 June 2011
Published:  30 March 2012


In this study we examined the anti-tick properties of the essential oil of Tagetes minuta L. (Asteraceae: Asterales) against Hyalomma rufipes ticks. We obtained the essential oil of T. minuta by hydro-distillation of a combination of fresh flowers, leaves and soft stems, and analysed these by using gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-linked mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The oil had a high percentage of monoterpenes and the major compounds identified were cis-ocimene (28.5%), beta-ocimene (16.83%) and 3-methyl-2-(2-methyl-2-butenyl)-furan (11.94%). Hyalomma rufipes adults displayed a significant (P < 0.05) dose repellent response to the essential oil of T. minuta. Probit analysis indicated a repellent EC50 of T. minuta essential oil for male ticks to be 0.072 mL/mL (CI 0.053 mL/mL to 0.086 mL/mL) and 0.070 mL/mL (CI 0.052 mL/mL to 0.084 mL/mL) for female ticks. There were no significant differences in repellent responses between male and female ticks. The oil also significantly (P < 0.05) delayed moulting of 60% of H. rufipes engorged nymphs. These results suggest that T. minuta may be a potential source of anti-tick agents.

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Author affiliations

Felix Nchu, Department of Horticultural Science, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Solomon R. Magano, Department of Life and Consumer Sciences, University of South Africa, South Africa
Jacobus N. Eloff, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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