Isolongifolenone: A Natural Repellent of Ticks and Mosquitoes
Filed in archive Other Biotechnology News by ruth on February 09, 2009
Researchers have identified a powerful insect repellent derived from a natural compound found in the Tauroniro tree (Humiria balsamifera) of South America. The compound, isolongifolenone, has been shown to deter biting of mosquitoes and to repel ticks, both of which are known spreaders of diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease.
The authors found that isolongifolenone deters the biting of the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti (L.) and Anopheles stephensi Liston more effectively than the widely used synthetic chemical repellent N,N-diethyl-3-methyl benzamide (DEET) in laboratory bioassays. Furthermore, it repelled blacklegged ticks and lone star ticks as effectively as DEET.Since "isolongifolenone is easily synthesized from inexpensive turpentine oil feedstock," the authors write, "we are therefore confident that the compound has significant potential as an inexpensive and safe repellent for protection of large human populations against blood-feeding arthropods."In addition, a new, patented method developed by the authors to efficiently produce isolongifolenone would make it even more cost effective.