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1 October 2010 Bioactivity of Argentinean Essential Oils Against Permethrin-Resistant Head Lice, Pediculus humanus capitis
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Infestation with the head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae), is one of the most common parasitic infestation of humans worldwide. Traditionally, the main treatment for control of head lice is chemical control that is based in a wide variety of neurotoxic synthetic insecticides. The repeated overuse of these products has resulted in the selection of resistant populations of head lice. Thus, plant-derived insecticides, such as the essential oils seem to be good viable alternatives as some have low toxicity to mammals and are biodegradable. We determined the insecticidal activity of 25 essential oils belonging to several botanical families present in Argentina against permethrin-resistant head lice. Significant differences in fumigant activity against head lice were found among the essential oils from the native and exotic plant species. The most effective essential oils were Cinnamomum porphyrium, followed by Aloysia citriodora (chemotype 2) and Myrcianthes pseudomato, with KT50 values of 1.12, 3.02 and 4.09; respectively. The results indicate that these essential oils are effective and could be incorporated into pediculicide formulations to control head lice infestations once proper formulation and toxicological tests are performed.

This is an open access paper. We use the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license that permits unrestricted use, provided that the paper is properly attributed.
Ariel C Toloza, Julio Zygadlo, Fernando Biurrun, Alicia Rotman, and María I Picollo "Bioactivity of Argentinean Essential Oils Against Permethrin-Resistant Head Lice, Pediculus humanus capitis," Journal of Insect Science 10(185), 1-8, (1 October 2010).
Received: 2 February 2010; Accepted: 1 March 2010; Published: 1 October 2010

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