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Acaricidal activity of ethanolic extract from aerial parts of Tagetes patula L. (Asteraceae) against larvae and engorged adult females of Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille, 1806)

Flávio Augusto Sanches Politi1, Glyn Mara Figueira2, Andréa Mendez Araújo3, Bruno Rodrigues Sampieri3, Maria Izabel Camargo Mathias3, Matias Pablo Juan Szabó4, Gervásio Henrique Bechara5, Lourdes Campaner dos Santos6, Wagner Vilegas6 and Rosemeire Cristina Linhari Rodrigues Pietro1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Drugs and Medicines, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UNESP - Univ Estadual Paulista, Rodovia Araraquara-Jaú, Km 01, SP, Araraquara, CEP 14801-902, Brazil

2 Chemical, Biological and Agricultural Pluridisciplinary Research Center (CPQBA), UNICAMP - Campinas State University, SP, Campinas, CP 6171, CEP 13081-970, Brazil

3 Department of Biology, Institute of Biosciences, UNESP - Univ Estadual Paulista, Avenida 24-A, 1515, Bairro Bela Vista, SP, Rio Claro, CEP 13506-900, Brazil

4 Department of Applied Immunology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UFU - Federal University of Uberlândia, Avenida Pará 1720, MG, Uberlândia, CP 593, CEP 38400-902, Brazil

5 Department of Veterinary Pathology, College of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, UNESP - Univ Estadual Paulista, Via de Acesso Professor Paulo Donato Castellane s/n, SP, Jaboticabal, CEP 14884-900, Brazil

6 Department of Organic Chemistry, Chemistry Institute, UNESP - Univ Estadual Paulista, Rua Professor Francisco Degni 55, Bairro Quitandinha, SP, Araraquara, CEP 14800-900, Brazil

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Parasites & Vectors 2012, 5:295  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-295

Published: 17 December 2012



The tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus is the species with the largest worldwide distribution and is proven to be involved in the transmission of pathogens such as Babesia canis, Ehrlichia canis, Coxiella burnetii, Rickettsia ricketsii, Rickettsia conorii, among others. Studies have demonstrated acquisition of resistance to some of the active principles used in commercial formulations of acaricides. Tagetes patula (Asteraceae) is a plant with highlighted economic and commercial importance due to the production of secondary metabolites with insecticide and acaricide potential, mainly flavonoids, thiophenes and terpenes.


The in vitro acaricide action of the ethanolic 70% extract from aerial parts of T. patula, obtained by percolation, was evaluated against larvae and engorged adult females of Rhipicephalus sanguineus by immersion test for 5 minutes. The chemical characterization of this extract was done by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS), using direct injection of sample.


Despite T. patula not proving lethal to adults in any of the concentrations tested, at 50.0 mg/mL oviposition rate decreased by 21.5% and eliminated 99.78% of the larvae. Also it was determined that the best results were obtained with 5 minutes of immersion. From the chromatographic analysis twelve O-glycosylated flavonoids were identified.


This is the first report on the acaricidal activity of T. patula extract against Rh. sanguineus. If we consider the application of the product in the environment, we could completely eliminate the larval stage of development of the ixodid Rh. sanguineus.

Tagetes patula; Rhipicephalus sanguineus; flavonoids; mass spectrometry; adult immersion test; larval immersion test