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ORIGINAL PAPER
Effect of ethanolic extract of Capsicum frutescens L. on adult
female of Rhipicephalus microplus (Ixodidae)
Viviane O. Vasconcelos & Maria Alice D. Martins &
Neide J. F. de Oliveira & Eduardo R. Duarte
Received: 23 November 2013 /Accepted: 10 January 2014 /Published online: 5 February 2014
# Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014
Abstract This study evaluated the effects of ethanol extract
of Capsicum frutescens L. (Solanaceae), colloquially known
as malagueta pepper, on egg production and hatching rate of
larvae of Rhipicephalus microplus. Plant samples were col-
lected in Montes Claros, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Selected ma-
ture fruits were washed, dehydrated in a forced air oven at 40±
5 °C to constant weight. The material was incubated in abso-
lute ethanol during 10 days, and the extract was filtered, dried,
and stored in amber vials under refrigeration at 4 °C.
Engorged adult female ticks were immersed in 10 ml solutions
of ethanol extracts at 25, 50, 75, 100, or 150 mg ml−1
dry
matter, solubilized in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at 1 % v/v.
These concentrations were compared to distilled water or 1 %
v/v DMSO in distilled water as negative controls and a com-
mercial product as positive control. The extract resulted in
significantly lower oviposition at all tested concentrations
when compared to the negative controls. On days 2 and 3
posttreatment, mortality rates of female ticks ≥55 % were
observed for concentrations ≥75 mg ml−1
. These concentra-
tions resulted in a significantly lower hatchability mean, and
the LC90 on hatching inhibition of R. microplus, estimated by
probit analysis, was 91.8 mg ml−1
. High acaricidal in vitro
effect was verified, and toxicological tests and analyses
in vivo are important to determine appropriate dosages and
frequency of the application necessary to promote this extract
as safe and effective alternative for control of R. microplus.
Introduction
Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae) can
reduce bovine productivity through anemia associated with
blood loss, release of toxins at the bite location, and transmis-
sion of possibly lethal parasitic diseases such as anaplasmosis
and babesiosis (Grisi et al. 2002; Campos Júnior and Oliveira
2005). The climate in many tropical regions is suitable for
completion of two or three life cycles per year (Magalhães and
Lima 1992; Grisi et al. 2002).
The tick is frequently controlled with chemical acaricides.
However, continual use, and misuse, of these products can
result in resistant populations and toxicity to animals and can
lead to accumulation of toxic residue in animal products and
the environment (Furlong et al. 2004).
Acaricide resistance of R. microplus is widespread, and
alternatives to conventional control should be evaluated
(Clemente et al. 2008; Fernandez-Sala et al. 2012).
Developing new drugs is expensive, and it is not always
possible to keep pace with the evolution of resistance
(Santos et al. 2009). Plant extracts promoted wide beneficial
uses in pharmaceutical applications as insecticides or acari-
cides (Amer and Mehlhorn 2006). Phytochemicals derived
from plant sources can act as larvicides, growth regula-
tors, repellents, and oviposition attractive and can play
an important role in interrupting the transmission of
diseases to their hosts (Bagavan et al. 2008; Mathew
et al. 2009). Therefore, research into plants with acari-
cide potential is scientifically, practically, and commer-
cially relevant (Chagas 2004; Fernandes et al. 2005).
Effective plant extracts could contribute to a reduction
in resistant tick populations, preserving the efficacy of
conventional acaricides (Chagas 2004).
Capsicum frutescens L., the malagueta pepper (Fig. 1), is a
small shrub of the family Solanaceae, native to tropical
America, and widely grown in Brazil, Portugal, Africa, and
V. O. Vasconcelos :M. A. D. Martins :N. J. F. de Oliveira :
E. R. Duarte (*)
Instituto de Ciências Agrárias, Universidade Federal de Minas
Gerais, Av Universitária 1000, Bairro Universitário, Montes Claros,
MG 39400-006, Brazil
e-mail: duartevet@hotmail.com
Parasitol Res (2014) 113:1389–1394
DOI 10.1007/s00436-014-3779-y
South Asia (Oliveira 2000). Solanaceae are important in the
food industry and medicine (Reifscheneider 2000).
Capsaicinoids of this family are associated with caustic or
spicy characteristics (Reifscheneider 2000). The species
C. frutescensalso contains diterpenoids, flavonoids, saponins,
and phenolic compounds having lethal effects, antifeedant
effects, and parasite repellency (Iorizzi et al. 2000;
Madhumathy et al. 2007). Little is known about acaricidal
activity of C. frutescens extract. There are informal reports by
organic dairy cattle breeders in Brazil on the effectiveness of
solutions containing C. frutescens fruit for tick control. The
aim of this study was to investigate the effects of extracts of
C. frutescens fruits on R. microplus.
Material and methods
Mature C. frutescensfruits were obtained from Montes Claros
city in northern Minas Gerais, Brazil. The plants were collect-
ed in March 2012, identified, and deposited at the Herbarium
in the Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros (HMC-3611).
Selected fruits were washed in running water, dried on
absorbent paper, dehydrated in a forced air oven at 40±5 °C
to constant weight, and stored at −4 °C. For preparation of the
ethanol extract, fruits were incubated in absolute ethanol PA
99.5 °GL in 1:10 10 days at room temperature (22 to 33 °C).
The extract was filtered through a gauze-lined glass funnel and
dried in a forced air circulation oven at 40±5 °C to constant
weight (Pires et al. 2001). The dried extract was removed and
stored in amber vials under refrigeration at 4 °C until required
for analysis. Subsamples of the dried extract were taken for the
determination of dry matter at 105 °C (AOAC 1990).
The extract was evaluated at 25, 50, 75, 100, or 150 mg dry
matter per milliliter, solubilized in dimethyl sulfoxide
(DMSO) at 1 % v/v. Solutions of the extract were prepared
with distilled water and with 1 % v/v of DMSO in distilled
water as negative controls. A commercial acaricide containing
1.87 mg ml−1
cypermethrin, 3.12 mg ml−1
chlorpyrifos, and
0.12 mg ml−1
citroneal, diluted as recommended by the man-
ufacturer, was used as positive control. The commercial prod-
uct was successfully used for tick control on the farm from
which studied ticks were obtained.
Engorged adult R. microplus females were collected from
naturally infested Zebu x Holstein cows in Francisco Sá, Minas
Gerais, Brazil. Ticks were placed in aerated plastic containers.
Ticks larger than 4 mm were selected, washed with distilled
water, placed on paper towels, and divided into 32 homoge-
neous groups of ten based on the degree of engorgement and
weight. The collection of engorged female ticks was conducted
at least 60 days after the most recent acaricide application.
The acaricide effectiveness of the test solutions was eval-
uated by an immersion test following Drummond et al.
(1973). Ticks were immersed in 10 ml of test solution for
5 min. Excess solution was removed with a paper towel, and
ticks were placed in a Petri dish and maintained at 28 °C and
70 % relative humidity in an BOD incubator. All procedures
were performed with four repetitions.
Fifteen days after the onset of egg laying by surviving ticks,
the mass of eggs for each group was determined on an ana-
lytical scale and transferred to 3-ml plastic syringes. Thirty
days after the start of hatching, syringe contents were trans-
ferred to Petri dishes, and the larvae and eggs were counted
under a stereoscopic microscope to determine the hatching
rate of each group.
A modified formula described by Bennett (1974) was used
for the analysis of the oviposition capacity (CO) of female
ticks:
CO ¼ weightof eggmass=initialweightof femaleð Þ Â 100
The efficacy of treatment (product efficacy) was estimated
using the equation of Drummond et al. (1973):
Product efficacy was calculated for each replicate
considering the ER of the negative controls. A randomized
design was used to compare the four extract concentrations
with two negative controls and the commercial acaricide
positive control. The tests were repeated four times, and the
data were transformed and subjected to analysis of variance.
ER (reproductive efficacy) egg weight x hatching x 20,0001
Initial weight of females
EP (product efficacy) (ER control group – ER treated group) x 100
ER control group
Fig. 1 Fruits of Capsicum frutescens L. (the malagueta pepper)
1
Represents the constant of 20,000 eggs/g of mass.
1390 Parasitol Res (2014) 113:1389–1394
The means were compared by the Scott–Knott test (P≤0.05).
The concentration of the extract sufficient to inhibit 90 % of
the hatching (LC90) was calculated by probit analysis using
the statistical package Saeg 9.1 (SAEG 2007). Solutions with
a minimum efficacy of 95 % were considered to be effective
(Brasil 1990).
Results and discussion
The ethanol extract of C. frutescens resulted in a significantly
lower oviposition of R. microplus at all tested concentrations
when compared to the negative controls (Table 1, P≤0.05).
The probable mechanism was the interference with the con-
version of blood ingested by ticks in eggs (Vasconcelos et al.
2004).
On days 2 and 3 posttreatment, mortality rates of female
ticks ≥55 % were observed for concentrations of 75 mg ml−1
and higher (Table 1). In contrast, Lucini et al. (2010) reported
that an aqueous extract of the dedo-de-moça chili pepper
(Capsicum baccatum) was not associated with the mortality of
Tetranychus ludeni (red mite), but oviposition was significantly
reduced for the highest concentrations (4.0 and 8.0 %) tested.
The single exposure to the extract at concentrations
≥75 mg ml−1
resulted in a significantly lower mean hatchabil-
ity than seen in negative controls, and the acaricide efficacy of
C. frutescens extract was greater than 96 %, similar to the
commercial acaricide, and higher than the 95 % (Table 1)
minimum efficacy required for conventional acaricides
(Brasil 1990). The LC90 of C. frutescens extract on the hatch-
ing inhibition of R. microplus, estimated by probit analysis,
was 91.8 mg ml−1
(Fig. 2).
Capsicum chili peppers are widely used as food ingredi-
ents, and Capsicum oleoresins are constituents of pharmaceu-
ticals and of self-defense repellent sprays (Schweiggert et al.
2006). Studies have demonstrated that the aqueous extract of
C. frutescens has potential for the control of parasites in fish
(Lin et al. 2012). Results of in vitro trials have shown aqueous
extract of C. frutescensat dilution ratios of 1:32 and 1:64 to be
associated with more than 70 % mortality of the protozoa
Ichthyophthirius multifiliis with 4 h of exposure (Lin et al.
2012).
Capsicum frutescens has also been investigated for antimi-
crobial properties. Abdou et al. (1972) reported that its crude
juices were active on Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, and
Bacillus subtilis. Plain and heated aqueous extracts of fresh
C. frutescens showed varying degrees of inhibition of five
species of bacteria (Cichewicz and Thorpe 1996).
Water extracts of accessions of Capsicum annuum, of
C. baccatum, and of C. frutescens were highly toxic to the
cabbage lopper larvae Trichopulsia ni (Hubner) and spider
mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch (Antonius et al. 2007), the
most difficult pest of crucifer crops to control (Hines and
Hutchison 2001). Mortality was greatest (94 %) when the fruit
extract of C. annuum was sprayed on larvae of the cabbage
looper, while crude extracts of C. frutescens) and C. annuum
were repellent to the spider mite (74 % mortality) (Antonius
et al. 2007).
The volatile fractions of C. frutescens were characterized
using headspace solid phase micro-extraction, gas chromatog-
raphy, and mass spectrometry as reported by Bogusz-Junior
et al. (2012). Eighty-three compounds, mostly esters and
alcohols, have been identified in C. frutescens. The predom-
inant and most potent chemical in Capsicum sp. was capsai-
cin. It possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
and has been used in the treatment of arthritis and cystitis. In
addition, capsaicin has a negative effect on predators of her-
bivores (Newall et al. 2002; Lee et al. 2005). Capsaicin may
be the active component producing the acaricidal results ob-
tained in the present research, a topic for further investigation.
Table 1 Effect of Capsicum frutescens fruits ethanol extract on oviposition, hatchability, and mortality of Rhipicephalus microplus
Treatment (mg ml−1
) Mortality (%) Oviposition capacity Hatchability (%) Effectiveness (%)c
150 55.0a 3.1a 34.1b 94.4a
100 72.5a 1.0a 2.1a 99.9a
75 85.0a 3.1a 41.8b 91.8a
50 10.0b 25.3b 84.6c 31.4b
25 10.0b 27.5b 86.8c 23.4b
Distilled water 0.0b 39.7c 98.1c 0c
Negative controla
0.0b 38.7c 85.8c 0c
Positive controlb
95.0a 1.0a 5.2a 99.7a
Variation coefficient (%) 41.5 31.2 42.8 27.8
Means followed by same lowercase letter are similar statistically by Scott–Knott’s test at 5 % probability (P≤0.05)
a
Negative Control with 1 % dimethyl sulfoxide
b
Commercial acaricide containing 1.87 mg ml−1
cypermethrin, 3.12 mg ml−1
clorpyrifos, and 0.12 mg ml−1
citroneal
c
Means obtained by the equation from Drummond et al. (1973)
Parasitol Res (2014) 113:1389–1394 1391
However, gas chromatography–mass spectrometry spec-
trometric analysis of fruits from different Capsicum species
revealed that capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin, the pungent
components of pepper fruit, were not correlated with toxicity
or repellency, indicating that the two capsaicinoids are not
likely related to the efficacy of pepper fruit extracts (Antonius
et al. 2007). Major compounds in hot pepper fruit extracts
were detected and identified as pentadecanoic acid methyl
ester, hexadecanoic acid methyl ester, and octadecanoic acid
methyl ester. It was also indicated that capsaicin and
dihydrocapsaicin, the major capsaicinoids in hot pepper, were
not toxic to Trichopulsia ni (Antonius et al. 2007).
Plants produce a vast array of volatiles and tannins that play
an important role in plant defense (Aharoni et al. 2003). Hot
pepper also contains significant amount of tannins
(Malgorzata and Perucka 2005; Antonious et al. 2006) that
break down and behave as toxins (Antonious et al. 1999).
Due to its low toxicity to humans, fruit extracts of chili
pepper can be used as an agricultural alternative (Pires et al.
2004). The ethanolic extract of C. frutescens can be easily
used by farmers since the plant is widely cultivated. The use of
this extract could reduce synthetic acaricide contamination of
the environment and of foods of animal origin, and eliminate
the need for discarding milk of treated bovines as is necessary
with synthetic acaricides.
Peppers belonging to other families have also been used in
the control of R. microplus. The extracts of Pipper aduncum
leaves are effective for the control of R. microplus, yielding
similar results to those reported in the literature for a variety of
synthetic and other natural agents. The LC50 of a hexane
extract of P. aduncum was 9.30 mg ml−1
for larvae and
reduction in reproduction ranged from 12.48 to 54.22 %,
while 0.1 mg/ml of the essential oil induced 100 % mortality
in larvae (Silva et al. 2009). The leaves and stems of
P. aduncum contain an essential oil composed mainly of
dillapiole (Pino et al. 2004; Walia et al. 2004) which has been
demonstrated to have synergistic effects with several natural
insecticides (Maia et al. 1998).
Ethanolic extracts of other plants have also showed efficacy
against R. microplus, but at higher concentrations. The extract
of Ricinus communis leaf at 95 % concentration was shown to
significantly increase mortality rate in a dose-dependent man-
ner, ranging from 35.0±5.0 to 95.0±5.0 %. This extract also
inhibited 36.4–63.1 % of oviposition of R. microplus (Ghosha
et al. 2013). The crude ethanolic extract of Leucas aspera
tested against Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus obtained
significant adult tick mortality at 100 mg ml−1
. Inhibition of
fecundity was concentration dependent and significantly dif-
fered from the control (Ravindran et al. 2011).
The vegetal extracts can potentially be used in tick popula-
tions resistant to synthetic products, contributing to an effective
alternative control. In this study of the ethanolic extract of
C. frutescens, reduced oviposition was verified at 25 mg ml−1
and high acaricidal efficacy was observed at 75 mg ml−1
, through
tick mortality and egg-hatching inhibition. Toxicological tests
and analyses in vivo are important to determine appropriate
dosages and frequency of application necessary to promote this
extract as an alternative acaricide for control of R. microplus.
Acknowledgments The authors thank the Coordination of Improve-
ment of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), the National Council for
Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Foundation for Re-
search Support of Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG).
Conflict of interest The authors of this manuscript have no financial or
personal relationship with individuals or organizations that could influ-
ence or bias the content of the paper.
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Pimenta malagueta artigo

  • 1. ORIGINAL PAPER Effect of ethanolic extract of Capsicum frutescens L. on adult female of Rhipicephalus microplus (Ixodidae) Viviane O. Vasconcelos & Maria Alice D. Martins & Neide J. F. de Oliveira & Eduardo R. Duarte Received: 23 November 2013 /Accepted: 10 January 2014 /Published online: 5 February 2014 # Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014 Abstract This study evaluated the effects of ethanol extract of Capsicum frutescens L. (Solanaceae), colloquially known as malagueta pepper, on egg production and hatching rate of larvae of Rhipicephalus microplus. Plant samples were col- lected in Montes Claros, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Selected ma- ture fruits were washed, dehydrated in a forced air oven at 40± 5 °C to constant weight. The material was incubated in abso- lute ethanol during 10 days, and the extract was filtered, dried, and stored in amber vials under refrigeration at 4 °C. Engorged adult female ticks were immersed in 10 ml solutions of ethanol extracts at 25, 50, 75, 100, or 150 mg ml−1 dry matter, solubilized in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at 1 % v/v. These concentrations were compared to distilled water or 1 % v/v DMSO in distilled water as negative controls and a com- mercial product as positive control. The extract resulted in significantly lower oviposition at all tested concentrations when compared to the negative controls. On days 2 and 3 posttreatment, mortality rates of female ticks ≥55 % were observed for concentrations ≥75 mg ml−1 . These concentra- tions resulted in a significantly lower hatchability mean, and the LC90 on hatching inhibition of R. microplus, estimated by probit analysis, was 91.8 mg ml−1 . High acaricidal in vitro effect was verified, and toxicological tests and analyses in vivo are important to determine appropriate dosages and frequency of the application necessary to promote this extract as safe and effective alternative for control of R. microplus. Introduction Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae) can reduce bovine productivity through anemia associated with blood loss, release of toxins at the bite location, and transmis- sion of possibly lethal parasitic diseases such as anaplasmosis and babesiosis (Grisi et al. 2002; Campos Júnior and Oliveira 2005). The climate in many tropical regions is suitable for completion of two or three life cycles per year (Magalhães and Lima 1992; Grisi et al. 2002). The tick is frequently controlled with chemical acaricides. However, continual use, and misuse, of these products can result in resistant populations and toxicity to animals and can lead to accumulation of toxic residue in animal products and the environment (Furlong et al. 2004). Acaricide resistance of R. microplus is widespread, and alternatives to conventional control should be evaluated (Clemente et al. 2008; Fernandez-Sala et al. 2012). Developing new drugs is expensive, and it is not always possible to keep pace with the evolution of resistance (Santos et al. 2009). Plant extracts promoted wide beneficial uses in pharmaceutical applications as insecticides or acari- cides (Amer and Mehlhorn 2006). Phytochemicals derived from plant sources can act as larvicides, growth regula- tors, repellents, and oviposition attractive and can play an important role in interrupting the transmission of diseases to their hosts (Bagavan et al. 2008; Mathew et al. 2009). Therefore, research into plants with acari- cide potential is scientifically, practically, and commer- cially relevant (Chagas 2004; Fernandes et al. 2005). Effective plant extracts could contribute to a reduction in resistant tick populations, preserving the efficacy of conventional acaricides (Chagas 2004). Capsicum frutescens L., the malagueta pepper (Fig. 1), is a small shrub of the family Solanaceae, native to tropical America, and widely grown in Brazil, Portugal, Africa, and V. O. Vasconcelos :M. A. D. Martins :N. J. F. de Oliveira : E. R. Duarte (*) Instituto de Ciências Agrárias, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av Universitária 1000, Bairro Universitário, Montes Claros, MG 39400-006, Brazil e-mail: duartevet@hotmail.com Parasitol Res (2014) 113:1389–1394 DOI 10.1007/s00436-014-3779-y
  • 2. South Asia (Oliveira 2000). Solanaceae are important in the food industry and medicine (Reifscheneider 2000). Capsaicinoids of this family are associated with caustic or spicy characteristics (Reifscheneider 2000). The species C. frutescensalso contains diterpenoids, flavonoids, saponins, and phenolic compounds having lethal effects, antifeedant effects, and parasite repellency (Iorizzi et al. 2000; Madhumathy et al. 2007). Little is known about acaricidal activity of C. frutescens extract. There are informal reports by organic dairy cattle breeders in Brazil on the effectiveness of solutions containing C. frutescens fruit for tick control. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of extracts of C. frutescens fruits on R. microplus. Material and methods Mature C. frutescensfruits were obtained from Montes Claros city in northern Minas Gerais, Brazil. The plants were collect- ed in March 2012, identified, and deposited at the Herbarium in the Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros (HMC-3611). Selected fruits were washed in running water, dried on absorbent paper, dehydrated in a forced air oven at 40±5 °C to constant weight, and stored at −4 °C. For preparation of the ethanol extract, fruits were incubated in absolute ethanol PA 99.5 °GL in 1:10 10 days at room temperature (22 to 33 °C). The extract was filtered through a gauze-lined glass funnel and dried in a forced air circulation oven at 40±5 °C to constant weight (Pires et al. 2001). The dried extract was removed and stored in amber vials under refrigeration at 4 °C until required for analysis. Subsamples of the dried extract were taken for the determination of dry matter at 105 °C (AOAC 1990). The extract was evaluated at 25, 50, 75, 100, or 150 mg dry matter per milliliter, solubilized in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at 1 % v/v. Solutions of the extract were prepared with distilled water and with 1 % v/v of DMSO in distilled water as negative controls. A commercial acaricide containing 1.87 mg ml−1 cypermethrin, 3.12 mg ml−1 chlorpyrifos, and 0.12 mg ml−1 citroneal, diluted as recommended by the man- ufacturer, was used as positive control. The commercial prod- uct was successfully used for tick control on the farm from which studied ticks were obtained. Engorged adult R. microplus females were collected from naturally infested Zebu x Holstein cows in Francisco Sá, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Ticks were placed in aerated plastic containers. Ticks larger than 4 mm were selected, washed with distilled water, placed on paper towels, and divided into 32 homoge- neous groups of ten based on the degree of engorgement and weight. The collection of engorged female ticks was conducted at least 60 days after the most recent acaricide application. The acaricide effectiveness of the test solutions was eval- uated by an immersion test following Drummond et al. (1973). Ticks were immersed in 10 ml of test solution for 5 min. Excess solution was removed with a paper towel, and ticks were placed in a Petri dish and maintained at 28 °C and 70 % relative humidity in an BOD incubator. All procedures were performed with four repetitions. Fifteen days after the onset of egg laying by surviving ticks, the mass of eggs for each group was determined on an ana- lytical scale and transferred to 3-ml plastic syringes. Thirty days after the start of hatching, syringe contents were trans- ferred to Petri dishes, and the larvae and eggs were counted under a stereoscopic microscope to determine the hatching rate of each group. A modified formula described by Bennett (1974) was used for the analysis of the oviposition capacity (CO) of female ticks: CO ¼ weightof eggmass=initialweightof femaleð Þ Â 100 The efficacy of treatment (product efficacy) was estimated using the equation of Drummond et al. (1973): Product efficacy was calculated for each replicate considering the ER of the negative controls. A randomized design was used to compare the four extract concentrations with two negative controls and the commercial acaricide positive control. The tests were repeated four times, and the data were transformed and subjected to analysis of variance. ER (reproductive efficacy) egg weight x hatching x 20,0001 Initial weight of females EP (product efficacy) (ER control group – ER treated group) x 100 ER control group Fig. 1 Fruits of Capsicum frutescens L. (the malagueta pepper) 1 Represents the constant of 20,000 eggs/g of mass. 1390 Parasitol Res (2014) 113:1389–1394
  • 3. The means were compared by the Scott–Knott test (P≤0.05). The concentration of the extract sufficient to inhibit 90 % of the hatching (LC90) was calculated by probit analysis using the statistical package Saeg 9.1 (SAEG 2007). Solutions with a minimum efficacy of 95 % were considered to be effective (Brasil 1990). Results and discussion The ethanol extract of C. frutescens resulted in a significantly lower oviposition of R. microplus at all tested concentrations when compared to the negative controls (Table 1, P≤0.05). The probable mechanism was the interference with the con- version of blood ingested by ticks in eggs (Vasconcelos et al. 2004). On days 2 and 3 posttreatment, mortality rates of female ticks ≥55 % were observed for concentrations of 75 mg ml−1 and higher (Table 1). In contrast, Lucini et al. (2010) reported that an aqueous extract of the dedo-de-moça chili pepper (Capsicum baccatum) was not associated with the mortality of Tetranychus ludeni (red mite), but oviposition was significantly reduced for the highest concentrations (4.0 and 8.0 %) tested. The single exposure to the extract at concentrations ≥75 mg ml−1 resulted in a significantly lower mean hatchabil- ity than seen in negative controls, and the acaricide efficacy of C. frutescens extract was greater than 96 %, similar to the commercial acaricide, and higher than the 95 % (Table 1) minimum efficacy required for conventional acaricides (Brasil 1990). The LC90 of C. frutescens extract on the hatch- ing inhibition of R. microplus, estimated by probit analysis, was 91.8 mg ml−1 (Fig. 2). Capsicum chili peppers are widely used as food ingredi- ents, and Capsicum oleoresins are constituents of pharmaceu- ticals and of self-defense repellent sprays (Schweiggert et al. 2006). Studies have demonstrated that the aqueous extract of C. frutescens has potential for the control of parasites in fish (Lin et al. 2012). Results of in vitro trials have shown aqueous extract of C. frutescensat dilution ratios of 1:32 and 1:64 to be associated with more than 70 % mortality of the protozoa Ichthyophthirius multifiliis with 4 h of exposure (Lin et al. 2012). Capsicum frutescens has also been investigated for antimi- crobial properties. Abdou et al. (1972) reported that its crude juices were active on Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, and Bacillus subtilis. Plain and heated aqueous extracts of fresh C. frutescens showed varying degrees of inhibition of five species of bacteria (Cichewicz and Thorpe 1996). Water extracts of accessions of Capsicum annuum, of C. baccatum, and of C. frutescens were highly toxic to the cabbage lopper larvae Trichopulsia ni (Hubner) and spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch (Antonius et al. 2007), the most difficult pest of crucifer crops to control (Hines and Hutchison 2001). Mortality was greatest (94 %) when the fruit extract of C. annuum was sprayed on larvae of the cabbage looper, while crude extracts of C. frutescens) and C. annuum were repellent to the spider mite (74 % mortality) (Antonius et al. 2007). The volatile fractions of C. frutescens were characterized using headspace solid phase micro-extraction, gas chromatog- raphy, and mass spectrometry as reported by Bogusz-Junior et al. (2012). Eighty-three compounds, mostly esters and alcohols, have been identified in C. frutescens. The predom- inant and most potent chemical in Capsicum sp. was capsai- cin. It possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and has been used in the treatment of arthritis and cystitis. In addition, capsaicin has a negative effect on predators of her- bivores (Newall et al. 2002; Lee et al. 2005). Capsaicin may be the active component producing the acaricidal results ob- tained in the present research, a topic for further investigation. Table 1 Effect of Capsicum frutescens fruits ethanol extract on oviposition, hatchability, and mortality of Rhipicephalus microplus Treatment (mg ml−1 ) Mortality (%) Oviposition capacity Hatchability (%) Effectiveness (%)c 150 55.0a 3.1a 34.1b 94.4a 100 72.5a 1.0a 2.1a 99.9a 75 85.0a 3.1a 41.8b 91.8a 50 10.0b 25.3b 84.6c 31.4b 25 10.0b 27.5b 86.8c 23.4b Distilled water 0.0b 39.7c 98.1c 0c Negative controla 0.0b 38.7c 85.8c 0c Positive controlb 95.0a 1.0a 5.2a 99.7a Variation coefficient (%) 41.5 31.2 42.8 27.8 Means followed by same lowercase letter are similar statistically by Scott–Knott’s test at 5 % probability (P≤0.05) a Negative Control with 1 % dimethyl sulfoxide b Commercial acaricide containing 1.87 mg ml−1 cypermethrin, 3.12 mg ml−1 clorpyrifos, and 0.12 mg ml−1 citroneal c Means obtained by the equation from Drummond et al. (1973) Parasitol Res (2014) 113:1389–1394 1391
  • 4. However, gas chromatography–mass spectrometry spec- trometric analysis of fruits from different Capsicum species revealed that capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin, the pungent components of pepper fruit, were not correlated with toxicity or repellency, indicating that the two capsaicinoids are not likely related to the efficacy of pepper fruit extracts (Antonius et al. 2007). Major compounds in hot pepper fruit extracts were detected and identified as pentadecanoic acid methyl ester, hexadecanoic acid methyl ester, and octadecanoic acid methyl ester. It was also indicated that capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin, the major capsaicinoids in hot pepper, were not toxic to Trichopulsia ni (Antonius et al. 2007). Plants produce a vast array of volatiles and tannins that play an important role in plant defense (Aharoni et al. 2003). Hot pepper also contains significant amount of tannins (Malgorzata and Perucka 2005; Antonious et al. 2006) that break down and behave as toxins (Antonious et al. 1999). Due to its low toxicity to humans, fruit extracts of chili pepper can be used as an agricultural alternative (Pires et al. 2004). The ethanolic extract of C. frutescens can be easily used by farmers since the plant is widely cultivated. The use of this extract could reduce synthetic acaricide contamination of the environment and of foods of animal origin, and eliminate the need for discarding milk of treated bovines as is necessary with synthetic acaricides. Peppers belonging to other families have also been used in the control of R. microplus. The extracts of Pipper aduncum leaves are effective for the control of R. microplus, yielding similar results to those reported in the literature for a variety of synthetic and other natural agents. The LC50 of a hexane extract of P. aduncum was 9.30 mg ml−1 for larvae and reduction in reproduction ranged from 12.48 to 54.22 %, while 0.1 mg/ml of the essential oil induced 100 % mortality in larvae (Silva et al. 2009). The leaves and stems of P. aduncum contain an essential oil composed mainly of dillapiole (Pino et al. 2004; Walia et al. 2004) which has been demonstrated to have synergistic effects with several natural insecticides (Maia et al. 1998). Ethanolic extracts of other plants have also showed efficacy against R. microplus, but at higher concentrations. The extract of Ricinus communis leaf at 95 % concentration was shown to significantly increase mortality rate in a dose-dependent man- ner, ranging from 35.0±5.0 to 95.0±5.0 %. This extract also inhibited 36.4–63.1 % of oviposition of R. microplus (Ghosha et al. 2013). The crude ethanolic extract of Leucas aspera tested against Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus obtained significant adult tick mortality at 100 mg ml−1 . Inhibition of fecundity was concentration dependent and significantly dif- fered from the control (Ravindran et al. 2011). The vegetal extracts can potentially be used in tick popula- tions resistant to synthetic products, contributing to an effective alternative control. In this study of the ethanolic extract of C. frutescens, reduced oviposition was verified at 25 mg ml−1 and high acaricidal efficacy was observed at 75 mg ml−1 , through tick mortality and egg-hatching inhibition. Toxicological tests and analyses in vivo are important to determine appropriate dosages and frequency of application necessary to promote this extract as an alternative acaricide for control of R. microplus. Acknowledgments The authors thank the Coordination of Improve- ment of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Foundation for Re- search Support of Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG). Conflict of interest The authors of this manuscript have no financial or personal relationship with individuals or organizations that could influ- ence or bias the content of the paper. References Abdou IA, Abou-Zeid AA, El-Sherbeeny MR, Abou-El-Gheat ZH (1972) Antimicrobial activities of Allium sativum, Allium cepa, 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 Concentrations (mg ml-1 ) Percentegghatch Fig. 2 Percentage of hatched eggs of Rhipicephalus microplus exposed to varying concentrations of ethanolic extract of Capsicum frutescens fruits 1392 Parasitol Res (2014) 113:1389–1394
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