Because of resistance to current insecticides and to environmental, health, and regulatory concerns, naturally occurring compounds and their derivatives are of increasing interest for the development of new insecticidal compounds against vectors of disease-causing pathogens. Fifty-eight compounds, either extracted and purified from plants native to China or synthetic analogs of curcumin, were evaluated for both their larvicidal activity against Aedes aegypti (L.) and their ability to inhibit binding of cholesterol to Ae. aegypti sterol carrier protein-2 in vitro. Of the compounds tested, curcumin analogs seem especially promising in that of 24 compounds tested five were inhibitors of Ae. aegypti sterol carrier protein-2 with EC50 values ranging from 0.65 to 62.87 µM, and three curcumin analogs exhibited larvicidal activity against fourth instar Ae. aegypti larvae with LC50 values ranging from 17.29 to 27.90 µM. Adding to the attractiveness of synthetic curcumin analogs is the relative ease of synthesizing a large diversity of compounds; only a small fraction of such diversity has been sampled in this study.
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Vol. 49 • No. 2