3 ‘repellent’ plants are powerful against it

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Brazil’s situation in relation to dengue mosquito it’s worrying. According to the Ministry of Health, the number of dengue cases in the first four weeks of 2024 was more than triple that recorded in the same period last year. Six people died from complications from the disease and 149 deaths remain under investigation.

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Therefore, among the factors that contribute to the increase in dengue fever are favorable climatic conditions for the proliferation of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, such as excessive heat and intense rain, and the resurgence of serotypes 3 and 4 of the dengue virus in Brazil.

Qdenga vaccine shortage

Furthermore, the country faces the challenge of having few doses of the Qdenga vaccine available, which was incorporated into the SUS in December 2023 and should begin to be applied in February this year. The vaccine will be aimed at teenagers aged 10 to 14, who are among the people with the highest number of hospitalizations due to the disease.

Research against the dengue mosquito

Researchers from the Community University of the Chapecó Region (Unochapecó), in Santa Catarina, revealed significant advances in the fight against Aedes aegypti, the feared mosquito that transmits the dengue, chikungunya and zika viruses.

Photo: Reproduction

Plants to combat the dengue mosquito

An innovative study, funded by the Santa Catarina State Research and Innovation Support Foundation (Fapesc), identified that the plants cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa), tapir bark (Drimys brasiliensis) and chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflorum) have properties capable of repelling or eliminating mosquito larvae.

Uncaria TomentosaUncaria Tomentosa
Photo: carlinhaitba/Shutterstock
Dendranthema GrandiflorumDendranthema Grandiflorum
Photo: Mino Surkala/Shutterstock

Experiments with essential oils

To carry out the experiments, the scientists used extracts of the essential oils of these plants, properly diluted in water. In other words, Aedes aegypti larvae were then introduced into this solution, created in the laboratory to replicate controlled conditions.

Promising results for dengue mosquito control

The results highlight the larvicidal potential of essential oils extracted from cat’s claw and tapir bark. On the other hand, chrysanthemum extract revealed a remarkable repellent action. Thus, this promising discovery opens the door to natural and sustainable alternatives to combat the dengue mosquito.

Dengue diagnosis at the border

In addition to laboratory advances, the project, carried out in collaboration with the National University of Misiones, in Argentina, sought to understand the dengue situation in 1,500 municipalities located on the Brazilian border. The objective is to carry out a comprehensive diagnosis of the spread of the disease in the region.

Fapesc support for the innovative project

Therefore, the researchers highlight the importance of Fapesc’s support for the development of this innovative project. As the study continues, the team aims to create practical and effective solutions to combat the spread of these diseases transmitted by Aedes aegypti, thus contributing to the promotion of public health in the country.


The article is in Portuguese

Tags: repellent plants powerful

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