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PLoS One. 2019 Oct 31;14(10):e0224109. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224109. eCollection 2019.

Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles using Solanum mammosum L. (Solanaceae) fruit extract and their larvicidal activity against Aedes aegypti L. (Diptera: Culicidae).

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Department of Chemistry, University of the Balearic Islands, Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain.
Laboratory of Nanotechnology, Department of Exact and Natural Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador.
Center for Research on Health in Latin America, Department of Exact and Natural Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador.
Centro de Nanociencia y Nanotecnología, Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE, Sangolquí, Ecuador.


The family of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) contains several species of major public health relevance due to their role as vectors of human disease. One of these species, Aedes aegypti, is responsible for the transmission of some of the most important vector-borne viruses affecting humankind, including dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika. Traditionally, control of Ae. aegypti and other arthropod species has relied on the use of a relatively small diversity of chemical insecticides. However, widespread and intensive use of these substances has caused significant adverse environmental effects and has contributed to the appearance of pesticide-resistant populations in an increasing number of locations around the world, thereby dramatically reducing their efficiency. Therefore, it becomes urgent to develop novel alternative tools for vector control. In that context, our study aimed at evaluating the insecticidal activity against Ae. aegypti of aqueous extracts obtained from the fruits of Solanum mammosum L., as well as silver nanoparticles synthesized using aqueous extracts from this plant species (SmAgNPs). To perform the test, third instar Ae. aegypti larvae were exposed to increasing concentrations of plant extract and SmAgNPs for 24 h. Our results suggest that both the aqueous extract and SmAgNPs were toxic to the larvae, with SmAgNPs displaying a much higher level of toxicity than the extract alone, as reflected in their LC50 values (0.06 ppm vs 1631.27 ppm, respectively). These results suggest that both S. mammosum extracts and SmAgNPs exhibit noteworthy larvicidal activity, and should be further explored as potential source of alternative tools in the fight against insect vectors of human disease.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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