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Enzyme Microb Technol. 2016 Dec;95:58-68. doi: 10.1016/j.enzmictec.2016.08.022. Epub 2016 Aug 31.

Green synthesized nanoparticles in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases and cancer-a brief review.

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Insect Behavior Group, Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy; The BioRobotics Institute, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Viale Rinaldo Piaggio 34, 56025 Pontedera, Italy. Electronic address:


Nanobiomedicine and parasitology are facing a number of key challenges, which mostly deal with the paucity of effective preventive and curative tools against mosquito-borne diseases and cancer. In this scenario, the employ of botanical and invertebrate extracts as reducing, stabilizing and capping agents for the synthesis of nanoparticles is advantageous over chemical and physical methods, since it is one-pot, cheap, and does not require high pressure, energy, temperature, or the use of highly toxic chemicals. Considering the overlooked connection between mosquito vector activity and the spread of cancer in USA, this review focused on the current knowledge available about green synthesized nanoparticles with efficacy against mosquito-borne diseases and cancer. Green fabricated metal nanoparticles showed antiplasmodial activity that often encompasses the efficacy of currently marked drugs for malaria treatment. They have been also reported as growth inhibitors against dengue virus (serotype DEN-2), with moderate cytotoxicity on mammalian cells. However, this feature is strongly dependent to the botanical agents employed during nanosynthesis. In addition, green nanoparticles have been successfully used to reduce mosquito young instar populations in the field. The final section focuses on some issues for future research, with special reference to the chemical standardization of the botanical extracts used for nanosynthesis and the potential effects on green fabricated nanoparticles on non-target organisms.


Aedes; Anopheles; Artemisinin; Chloroquine; Culex; Dengue; Malaria; Mosquito vector control; Plasmodium; Tumor; Zika virus

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