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The desert wormwood (Artemisia herba-alba) – From Arabian folk medicine to a source of green and effective nanoinsecticides against mosquito vectors

Aziz, Al Thabiani, Alshehri, Mohammed Ali, Panneerselvam, Chellasamy, Murugan, Kadarkarai, Trivedi, Subrata, Mahyoub, Jazem A., Hassan, Mo'awia Mukhtar, Maggi, Filippo, Sut, Stefania, Dall'Acqua, Stefano, Canale, Angelo, Benelli, Giovanni
Journal of photochemistry and photobiology 2018 v.180 pp. 225-234
Aedes, Anopheles, Artemisia herba-alba, Culex, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, antibacterial properties, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, growth inhibitors, insect vectors, insecticides, larvicides, lethal concentration 50, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, nanosilver, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, pathogens, phytopharmaceuticals, public health, saponins, silver, toxicity, traditional medicine, transmission electron microscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy
The development of eco-friendly and effective insecticides is crucial for public health worldwide. Herein, we focused on the desert wormwood (Artemisia herba-alba), a plant widely used in Arabian traditional medicine, as a source of green nanoinsecticides against mosquito vectors, as well as growth inhibitors to be employed against microbial pathogens. Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs) fabricated with the A. herba-alba extract were tested on Indian and Saudi Arabian strains of Anopheles, Aedes and Culex mosquitoes. The chemical profile of the A. herba-alba extract was determined by LC-DAD-MS and 1H NMR studies. Then, AgNPs were studied using UV–vis spectroscopy, XRD, FTIR spectroscopy, TEM, and EDX analyses. Artemisia herba-alba-synthesized AgNPs showed high larvicidal toxicity against mosquitoes from both Indian and Saudi Arabian strains. LC50 of AgNPs against Indian strains was 9.76 μg/ml for An. stephensi, 10.70 μg/ml for Ae. aegypti and 11.43 μg/ml for Cx. quinquefasciatus, whereas against Saudi Arabian strains it was 33.58 μg/ml for Ae. aegypti and 38.06 μg/ml for Cx. pipiens. In adulticidal experiments, A. herba-alba extract showed LC50 ranging from 293.02 to 450 μg/ml, while AgNP LC50 ranged from 8.22 to 27.39 μg/ml. Further, low doses of the AgNPs inhibited the growth of selected microbial pathogens. Overall, A. herba-alba can be further considered as a source of phytochemicals, with special reference to saponins, for effective and prompt fabrication of AgNPs with relevant insecticidal and bactericidal activity against species of high public health importance.