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J Med Entomol. 2008 Jan;45(1):88-93.

Tick repellent substances in the essential oil of Tanacetum vulgare.

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Department of Chemistry, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden.


The repellent effect of the essential oils of flower heads of the aromatic plant tansy, Tanacetum vulgare L. (Asteraceae), originating from Sweden, was tested against host-seeking nymphs of the common tick Ixodes ricinus (L.). The essential oils were obtained by steam distillation (SD) and by using an online solvent extraction separation setup. Further fractionations of the SD oils were obtained by medium-pressure liquid chromatography on silica gel. The volatiles of the essential oils and the fractions that exhibited strong tick repellency (90-100%) were collected by solid phase microextraction and identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The chemical analyses of the oils show that the populations of T. vulgare from Uppsala and Stockholm may represent different chemotypes, but that they exhibited similar tick repellency. Main volatiles detected from oils of T. vulgare collected at Uppsala were alpha-pinene (27%), beta-pinene (11%), pinocamphone (11%), 1,3,3-trimethylcyclohex-1-ene-4-carboxaldehyde (11%), and 1,8-cineole (10%). In the sample collected in Stockholm, the main components were beta-thujone (39%) and camphor (23%) followed by alpha-thujone (11%) and 1,8-cineole (8%). When constituents in the oils, e.g., alpha-terpineol, 4-terpineol, alpha+beta-thujone, 1,8-cineol, verbenol, and verbenone, were tested separately (each diluted 0.5%, vol:vol), 64-72% tick repellency was obtained.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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