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Iran J Arthropod Borne Dis. 2011;5(2):10-22. Epub 2011 Dec 31.

Repellency Effects of Essential Oils of Myrtle (Myrtus communis), Marigold (Calendula officinalis) Compared with DEET against Anopheles stephensi on Human Volunteers.

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Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Malaria and leishmaniasis are two most significant parasitic diseases which are endemic in Iran. Over the past decades, interest in botanical repellents has increased as a result of safety to human. The comparative efficacy of essential oils of two native plants, myrtle (Myrtus communis) and marigold (Calendula officinalis) collected from natural habitats at southern Iran was compared with DEET as synthetic repellent against Anopheles stephensi on human subjects under laboratory condition.


Essential oils from two species of native plants were obtained by Clevenger-type water distillation. The protection time of DEET, marigold and myrtle was assessed on human subject using screened cage method against An. stephensi. The effective dose of 50% essential oils of two latter species and DEET were determined by modified ASTM method. ED(50) and ED(90) values and related statistical parameters were calculated by probit analysis.


The protection time of 50% essential oils of marigold and myrtle were respectively 2.15 and 4.36 hours compared to 6.23 hours for DEET 25%. The median effective dose (ED(50)) of 50% essential oils was 0.1105 and 0.6034 mg/cm(2) respectively in myrtle and marigold. The figure for DEET was 0.0023 mg/cm(2).


This study exhibited that the repellency of both botanical repellents was generally lower than DEET as a synthetic repellent. However the 50% essential oil of myrtle showed a moderate repellency effects compared to marigold against An. stephensi.


Anopheles stephensi; Calendula officinalis; DEET; Essential oils; Iran; Myrtus communis; Repellent


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