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Study on the effects of extracts of Ocimum sanctum (Basil herb) on Phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in India.

Kundan Lal*, P Nath & Ragini Mishra
Department of Zoology, Patna University, Patna – 800005, India

Received 10th April 2006 ; Revised 17th Aug 2006

Abstract : Phlebotomine species are important members of order Diptera which has been broad effects on public health. Especially in case of Bihar (India) the Kala-azar i.e. visceral leishmaniasis is spread by sanctifies Phlebotomus argentipes which is a very dreadful disease affecting very large population. Many steps have been taken by the Government of Bihar and scientists to control this harmful vector by mass spraying synthetic organochlorines like DDT, BHC, Malathion etc. but all such efforts have ended into a big failure. These synthetic insecticides are not very effective as not only these vectors developed a high degree of resistance against them but these are also creating very drastic effects on the ecosystem and environment. Since last few decades scientists are very keen to develop eco-friendly and effective control measures against the insect vectors. Plant derived extracts have shown many beneficial results in this field. Oil extracted from seeds of the Ocimum sanctum and other extracts like N-hexane, alcoholic and aqueous extracts of leaves, and fruits of this plant have shown very effective results dealing with control of this insect vector at multiple stages of their life cycle. The Basil plant extracts have shown very good results as larvicide and adult repellant.

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