Full Article

Rev. Bras. Parasitol. Vet., Jaboticabal, v. 21, n. 4, p. 405-411, out.-dez. 2012
ISSN 0103-846X (impresso) / ISSN 1984-2961 (eletrônico)

Chemical identification of Tagetes minuta Linnaeus
(Asteraceae) essential oil and its acaricidal effect on ticks
Caracterização química e efeito acaricida do óleo essencial de
Tagetes minuta Linnaeus (Asteraceae) em carrapatos
Marcos Valério Garcia1; Jaqueline Matias1; Jacqueline Cavalcante Barros1; Dênis Pires de Lima2;
Rosângela da Silva Lopes2; Renato Andreotti1*
Animal Health Laboratory, Embrapa Beef Cattle, Campo Grande, MS, Brazil
LP4 Laboratory, Centre for Science and Technology, Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul – UFMS,
Campo Grande, MS, Brazil

Received September 12, 2012
Accepted October 15, 2012

The control of tick species that affect animal production is vital for the economic welfare of the cattle industry. This
study focused on testing the acaricidal activity of the essential oil from the leaves and stems of Tagetes minuta against
several Brazilian tick species, including Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Amblyomma
cajennense and Argas miniatus. The chemical composition of the essential oil was determined by chromatography and
spectroscopy analyses, which revealed the presence of monoterpenes. The adult immersion test (AIT) and the larval
packet test (LPT) were used to evaluate the efficacy of T. minuta essential oil in tick management at concentrations of
2.5, 5, 10, 20 and 40%. The results demonstrated that the T. minuta essential oil had over 95% efficacy against four
species of ticks at a concentration of 20%. These results suggest that the essential oil of T. minuta could be used as an
environmentally friendly acaricide.
Keywords: Tagetes minuta, ticks, phytotherapy, control.

O controle de carrapatos que causa impacto na produção de bovinos possui importância econômica para a cadeia
produtiva. Neste trabalho objetivou-se testar a atividade acaricida do óleo essencial das folhas e caules de Tagetes minuta
contra várias espécies de carrapatos brasileiros, incluindo Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus,
Amblyomma cajennense e Argas miniatus. A composição química do óleo foi determinada por GC-MS e análises de
espectroscopia de RMN, que revelaram a presença de monoterpenos. Na avaliação destas substâncias no controle do
carrapato foram empregados os testes de imersão de adulto (TIA) e o de pacote de larvas (TPL) para o extrato de óleo de
T. minuta nas concentrações de 2,5%; 5%; 10%; 20% e 40%. Os resultados do TPL e TIA demonstraram que o óleo
essencial na concentração de 20% de T. minuta apresenta eficácia superior a 95% nas quatro espécies de carrapato. Estes
resultados sugerem que o óleo essencial de T. minuta pode ser usado como um acaricida eficaz e com baixo impacto
Palavras-chave: Tagetes minuta, carrapatos, fitoterápico, controle.

Ticks are ectoparasites that affect an extensive range of vertebrate There are approximately 61 species of ticks in Brazil (BARROS-
hosts and transmit a wide variety of pathogens. They are the most BATTESTI et al., 2006). The four species examined in this
common external parasites of economic importance in livestock study represent the ticks that are important in cattle and poultry
production worldwide. Chemical acaricides have been developed production and environmental and public health.
to control ticks and are applied as dips, sprays and pour-ons at There is a considerable economic incentive to control the
various application intervals. ticks that affect animal production systems. In Brazil, the annual
economic loss in the cattle industry attributed to Rhipicephalus
*Corresponding author: Renato Andreotti (B.) microplus has been estimated at US $2 billion (GRISI et al.,
Animal Health Laboratory, Embrapa Beef Cattle, Av. Radio Maia, 830,
Vila Popular, Campo Grande, MS, Brasil 2002). Over 170 million bovines are managed by the Brazilian
e-mail: andreotti@cnpgc.embrapa.br cattle industry (ANUALPEC, 2009), and the Brazilian parasiticide


an official program was placed on a perforated plate. with an Rtx®-WAX Crossbond-Carbowax-polyethylene glycol column (E)-ocimenone. The steam carried the volatile organic compounds (essential There has been an increase in the amount of research focused on oil) that were present in the plant material into the vapor phase. The process lasted 2 hours inside shown to possess acaricidal properties. have aphicidal properties (TOMOVA et al. The and they are liquid at ambient temperature (ENAN. located PEREIRA. Rhipicephalus sanguineus is the primary tick species found 1. and β–ocimene and tagetenone levels comparison of their retention indexes (IR) with the Shimadzu reach a maximum of 45. The they accumulate in all plant organs (KNAAK. 2011). sample was prepared in CHCl3. flowers (CHAMORRO et al.. but it is consistent and Technology (NIST) and Wiley’s FFNSC (Flavor and Fragrance at all geographical locations. in the GCMS Solution Program. These attractive or repellent substances of plants are mainly was programmed to increase from 50 to 210 °C at 10 °C/min terpenic in nature. insecticidal and acaricidal (TOMOVA et al.d. minuta has been shown to be antimicrobial (SOUZA et al. (Z)-tagetone. minuta varies by to the mass spectral data from the National Institute of Standards the part of the plant and its growth stage. 2009). green and pinnately dissected into 4 to 6 pairs of pinnae (PRAKASA et al. and (Z)-ocimenone.. the garden.V. The essential oil extract was analyzed qualitatively and Moghaddam et al. Tetramethylsilane was used as an internal reference. It can cause productivity losses and transmit pathogenic The leaves and stems of Tagetes minuta were collected from agents (LISBÔA et al. T. market has a value of US $960 million in sales. dihydrotagetone. development (ANDREOTTI et al. MASIKA.. respectively. 2000).53. Vet. 1997) and have been reported to instrument equipped with a 5-mm direct probe with z-gradient field. and the injection volume was 1. version 2. The on vitellogenin during the oogenesis of arthropods (WILLIAMS. such as an inhibitory effect an extractor at normal atmospheric pressure and 96-97 °C. 2009). 1999). The 1H and 13C NMR spectra (at 300 and 75 MHz. which accounts for Materials and Methods 34% of the Brazilian veterinary product market (SINDAN. calculated without correction factors or internal standards. .  Study site on dogs in the urban areas of Brazil (SZABÓ et al. minuta oil are α-terpineol. M. 4.  NMR spectroscopy MASIKA. Rev. 2001). FIUZA. The peak area percentages were Essential oils are the steam-distilled fraction of the plant. respectively) The purpose of this study was to characterize the essential oil were measured at a temperature of 300 K using 10 mg∙mL−1 in of Tagetes minuta by GC-MS analysis and to evaluate its acaricidal CDCl3 solvent. an automatic injection system and a selective mass Volatile oils are plant products made by heating with water detector. Amblyomma sp. 2005. Such using He as the carrier gas. dried at 40 °C for 72 hours and ground in a grinder According to the criteria of the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture with a 5-mm mesh.406 Garcia. (Z)-β-ocimene. 2000). a ratio of 50:1. For example.  Oil extract chromatography (GC-MS) This plant is used in popular medicine and grows in temperate regions of South America (MOYO.. the use of plant extracts for the control of parasites. 2001). peaks were identified by comparison of their mass spectra (MS) The composition of the essential oil of T. MOYO. Brazil. et al. Amblyomma cajennense is the primary tick at 20° 26’ S and 54° 42’ W at 520 m above sea level. A total biomass of 1 kg was submitted to and Food Supply. 2. KALAKUMAR et al. The test was performed at 250°C. new tick control products must display an efficacy steam distillation to extract 185 mL of essential oil. The herbage of at least 95% to be registered. the composition (30 m × 0.. 2005).  Plant material and extraction Argas miniatus Koch (1844) is a tick that affects poultry and other birds. (2007) showed that the main components of quantitatively using a Shimadzu GCMS-QP2010 Plus equipped T. Asteraceae family. and a pipe (gooseneck) was attached to transfer the in ticks continues to be a major driver of new anti-parasitic drug vapors to a condenser. The gas flow was 0.. 2008). Natural and Synthetic Compounds) based on an analysis of the dihydrotagetone levels reach a maximum of 42. and the oven temperature vapor. The terpenes in the T.0 µL. Previously. residual water from the essential oil isolation was removed by 1993. × 0.. properties against four species of Brazilian ticks. of low molecular weight.9% in the leaves fragmentation pattern obtained for each component and on a of non-bloomed plants. The plate was then placed on an criteria for tick control. Bras. Its leaves are slightly glossy. 2010). However. species found on horses and has also been recovered from dogs (LABRUNA et al.25 µm film thickness). a split injector.. filtration with anhydrous sodium sulfate. 2010). minuta oil are toxic to The NMR spectra were recorded on a Bruker Avance DPX-300 mosquitoes (MACÊDO et al. The study was conducted in Campo Grande-MS. 3. 2008). which served as a support to for tick control is lacking.25 mm i. Parasitol.9%. The essential oil was Tagetes minuta is an annual perennial herb that belongs to the stored in amber flasks. In the province of Chaco. The development of acaricide resistance extractor. was confirmed in this study.7 mL/min at a substances are usually referred to as aromatic essential oils.. The injector temperature was 200 °C. 2000).. and constant speed of 30 cm/s and an interface of 250 °C. and volatile. 2001).4% and 32. and the producers largely define the homogenize the steam flow. are also found on dogs in rural areas (LABRUNA.. A container was placed at the end of the condenser to separate the oil from neem (Azadirachta indica) seeds was evaluated and the essential oil from the water.

  Oil extract chromatography immersed in distilled water with 2% Tween 20. at 27 ± 1. % percentage.v. the T.5 °C and 70-80% relative humidity (DRUMMOND. After 15 days.5. The ticks Table 1 shows the qualitative and quantitative analyses of a were individually plated in a 24-well plate and were incubated for commercial sample of essential oil extract that was obtained from 15 days at the conditions described above. cajennense and A. 1 papers and immersed adult immersion test (AIT). A. β-ocimene (2). The vials with the highest larval exclusion rate (90-100%) were tick collection. 1984). organophosphate that was subsequently filled with water and soap to prevent their (OP) and amitraz (Am). The experiments 7. These eggs provided The opened envelopes containing the tick larvae (treated the larvae for the larval packet test (LPT) (FAO. 5. and the mortality rate and the weight more than 70% of the essential oil. including pyrethroid (SP). a lack of Malpighian tubes and stillness. The dead ticks were (4) (Figure 1). 1984). and the larvae were placed in the center of a petri dish to acaricide families. immersed in T. Fifty eggs of Table  1. The ticks were previously diagnosed as resistant selected. n. 21. as recommended by FAO (1984).89 54.  Bioassay (FAO. of >5%. in conditions similar to those in which the adult ticks were Compound Retention time (min) Area (%) maintained and observed for 21 days. out. The hatching rates of the Limonene (1) 9. as recommended in a preliminary study (ROSADO-AGUILAR et al. sanguineus.62 5. hemorrhagic skin lesions. and another group was incubated for 10 minutes. minuta oil extract or neem oil at concentrations and the corrected mortality was described using the following of 2. The tick groups were to walk were considered dead. as suggested by the equipment manufacturer. the mortality and and acaricides on adult ticks. limonene (1). and the control group was 1.. 1984). minuta crude extracts (leaf and stem). Tween 20 was diluted with distilled water to a concentration of 2% and was used to dilute the plant extracts. the commercially recommended concentrations were evaluated.96 eggs were then estimated. including R. 2008). The primary chemical composition of Tagetes minuta each batch were placed in 25 × 95-mm glass vials. The LPT was used to test the acaricidal activity of the crude extracts (leaf and stem) against the four species of tick larvae 5. 10. the diluted Tween 20 was also included from naturally infested animals in Campo Grande-MS. 2012 Tagetes minuta effect on ticks 407 The chemical shifts are provided on the δ scale. the number of females laying eggs was recorded. 1973) for two weeks until their eggs were laid. The number of living larvae. 20 or 40%). 5. The assays were performed in triplicate. neem oil using stereoscopy. and they were compared to the control β-Ocimene (2) 9. The packets were placed in an incubator at 27 ± 1. Approximately 100 larvae were selected with a no. animals were free of acaricide treatments for 45 days prior to Tick larvae aged 7-14 days were used in this study (FAO. recognized by the presence of cuticular darkness. They were identified as of the eggs produced by each group were recorded. miniatus. 4. The ticks were analyzed Tagetes minuta. and control) were folded with metallic clips and labeled with the appropriate identification markers (tested solution and 6.60 6. . Ten engorged female ticks of each any other toxic effects were recorded. The larvae that were unable species were deposited into a petri dish.5 °C and 70-80% relative humidity for 24 hours. Four main components are shown that represent with a stereomicroscope.21 of egg laying and larval hatching were determined for all of the Tagetone (4) 11. A concentration curve was performed to define the optimal concentration of Tween 20 that enabled a stable None of the control group bioassays showed a mortality rate aqueous solution. The engorged female ticks. 1973) was used to test the acaricidal envelopes were opened 24 hours post-treatment (PT) and observed activity of the T. (B. equation: Tween 20 (2%) was used to solubilize the essential oil and neem oil in water. escape.5.11 group and the other experimental groups. 1998) Min – minutes. For the established acaricides. 20 and 40%.  Adult immersion test concentration). minuta oil extract and the neem oil (to concentrations of R. The diluted plant crude extract (3 mL) was transferred to The engorged female ticks were washed with water and the petri dishes (60 × 15 mm in diameter). The percent inhibitions Dihydrotagetone (3) 9. and ~300-500 larvae dried with paper towels.0. dihydrotagetone (3) and tagetone The mortality rate was recorded daily. 10.73 groups (CEN-AGUILAR et al. A group of females was used in an were placed between two Whatman No. and the eggs of each group were weighed using an analytical scale.52 6. Results The treated groups were immersed for five minutes in diluted crude extract with 2% Tween 20. 4 paintbrush and gently transferred to clean filter paper packets.. The The AIT (DRUMMOND.-dez. The in the control group. maintained ­essential oil. were collected 2.) microplus.  Larval packet test were performed using standard pulse sequences.

Chemical structures of the compounds identified in the T. barks. and seeds. are described in animals compared to the negative control when an infusion was Table 2.5 9 16 45 62. which directly affects the activity of essential similar results as the LPT results. et al. it is necessary to conduct insightful research No significant acaricidal activity was found against the on the chemical composition of plant-derived substances and R.5 5 10 20 40 R. Efficacy of different concentrations of T.)microplus AIT 5 5 9 22 45 79 95 100 LPT 2 2 3. minuta oil was shown to be very effective against both hard Observations clearly suggest that the insecticidal activity and and soft ticks.3 0. cajennense AIT 2 2 9 26 61 79 100 100 LPT 3 8.25 2. conservation and plant selectivity (LPT) or the adult immersion test (AIT) (Table 3).5 58 92. FIUZA. the applications indica) oil or the control sample by either the larval packet test of the techniques in the field. miniatus. Ayacko (2008) reported an efficacy with a concentration of 2. 2009). The data from the 1H and 13C spectra of the primary constituents According to the criteria of the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. of the essential oil were compatible with those found in the Livestock and Supply (MAPA). Rev.) microplus tick larvae by the commercial neem (Azadirachta their effects. fruits adult immersion test (AIT) are shown in Table 4. sanguineus AIT 2 3 12 27 65 89 100 100 LPT 3 3 4 8 21 80 100 100 A. depend . efficacy of at least 95% to become registered (BRASIL. In most cases. the biological function of the essential oil terpenoids remains obscure. The process of extracting solvents.  Bioassay acaricides because they are available locally at a low cost. miniatus used (MOYO et al.5 95 100 A. leaves. In the AIT (adult Importantly. the essential oil showed 95% efficacy may vary depending on the plant species. (B. and it reached over 95% efficacy as required by the ministry of agriculture in Brazil.  NMR spectra to the referenced conventional acaricides.5 100 100 R. The concentration of T. had an effect on the magnitude of the tick burden of the treated as determined by the LPT (larval packet test).5%. Bras. oils. the data such as Asteraceae. and communities generally accept them. minuta essential oil on the four tick species. M. Its efficacy at a concentration of 20% was comparable potency of monoterpenoids. new acaricides must provide an literature (SINGH et al. Table 2. minuta essential oil. the Ixodidae ticks with a concentration of 20%. Vet. rhizomes. the level of acaricidal activity of such compounds immersion test) (Table 2). An efficacy of over 95% was observed against A. Figure 1. and the ticks from the Ixodidae family had the form of extraction. 2010) Four species of ticks were evaluated using the commercial Essential oils are distributed in a limited number of families. For this reason.V.408 Garcia. 1997). Tick species Concentrations % Test 0. roots.5 26. 2. Plant extracts could provide a viable alternative to conventional 3. 2002). minuta oil extract against four tick species using the adult immersion test (AIT) and larval packet test (LPT). All protocols were performed in triplicate. miniatus AIT 5 12 31 69 97 100 100 100 LPT 12 32 68 100 100 100 100 100 % Percentage. minuta The effects of the T. acaricides that are available in the regional market... Parasitol. as with the other insecticides. The toxic mechanism of action of terpenoids has not been uncovered and is still unknown. T. that Discussion they have an ecological role. It is conceivable. growing conditions and against A.(B. however. A similar efficacy was reached against of 55% when using a decoction. and accumulate in all types of plant vegetative obtained in the assays for the larval packet test (LPT) and the organs such as the flowers.6 1. also need to be further evaluated (KNAAK.

and method of application (ENAN. The authors also demonstrated (ENAN.3 16 38 41 LPT 1. miniatus.)microplus AIT 0. out.8 19 36 55 R. There is evidence that the octopaminergic system is a target of KALAKUMAR et al. WEBB. which is ticks.6 2. minuta These results were found in different laboratories under different essential oil displayed only partial effectiveness against Ixodidae conditions. Abbreviations: Cypermethrine: Cpt. and low cost. All protocols were performed in triplicate.9 6 15 39 45 A.2%. 2001). while alcohol extracts resulted in a 70% reduction family is at least five times more sensitive to essential oil than the in tick reproduction.3 10 53 74 96 100 100 100 LPT 9 26 61 79 100 100 100 100 % Percentage.1 3 3. (B.8 19 42 55 LPT 0. For the T.6 using plant extracts may be slow resistance development because to 89. respectively. it is important to consider a formulation that is efficient for tick control at economical concentrations of 1. whether they are antagonists or agonists. However.6 1.5 5 10 20 40 R. aqueous neem to the environment than the currently used insecticides.7 to 82.9 5.6% and from 16. cajennense AIT 95 99 100 97 95 100 LPT 100 98 100 100 99 100 A. Several studies have been conducted on the effect of neem The data from the AIT and LPT assays corroborated previous extracts on cattle ticks.2 2. Rhipicephalus results that demonstrated the resistance of R. Piperonylbutoxide: Bupi. against R. required by the ministry of agriculture in Brazil.3 2. The ethanol neem extracts were found to be ticks of the Ixodidae family. (B. minuta essential oil. n.5% studies are needed to validate this strategy. Thus.6 2 3 16 34 46 LPT 0 0.8 4 15 37 56 A. carbamates and synthetic pyrethroids amitraz-based commercial acaricide.0%. evertsi. to T. R. Tick Species Concentrations % Test 0.3 0. 2001). Tick Species Chemical base Test Cypermethrin Amitraz Cpt Cpf Ddvp Ddvp Ddvp Ct Dmt(*) Cpt (*) Cpf (*) Bupi (*)       R.-dez.) microplus AIT 14 39 98 28 16 100 LPT 36 26 100 35 28 100 R. several monoterpenoids. 1993. the T. sanguineus AIT 54 100 100 95 98 100 LPT 53 100 100 96 95 100 A.1 1. or Souza et al.9 7. Table 4.4 5. (B.) microplus. and the extract efficacies did not reach 95%.. miniatus AIT 100 100 100 100 100 100 LPT 99 99 100 100 100 100 (*) Associations. Efficacy values for commercial acaricides that were used at the commercially recommended concentrations for ticks and tested using the adult immersion test (AIT) and the larval packet test (LPT). (2010) analyzed the extracts are usually composed of a mixture of different active the efficacies of a neem hexane extract and a 2% oil concentration agents with different mechanisms of action (OLIVO et al.9 2. including dose. 2002). Dichlorvos (DDVP): Ddvp. A study by Benavides et al. Hyalomma truncatum. such extract every 21 days was as effective against R.25 and 0. respectively.) microplus and found in vitro efficacies of 73. it achieved satisfactory results against A.3 0.v.3 1 1. (B). the effect of commercial neem oil was compared 65%.25 2.0 2.6 to 3. R.2 and In this work. species.9 1. (B. At a 5% concentration. follow-up green fruits that was tested at concentrations of 0. Therefore. miniatus tick of the Argasidae ether extract. miniatus  AIT 0. Only . synthetic compounds.1 2 2.. sanguineus AIT 1. All protocols were performed in triplicate.4 2. 4. 21. cajennense AIT 0. minuta essential oil to become an alternative and Williams (1993) also concluded that neem oil could be used acaricide. Citronella: Ct. 2000. application surface. Plant products can be used in association with. 2009). Chlorpyriphos: Cpf. Efficacy of commercial neem oil (Azadirachta indica) using the adult immersion test (AIT) and larval packet test (LPT). The advantage of and showed efficacies ranging from 46. (2001) showed that the treatment Such monoterpenoids are highly selective to insects and are safer of naturally infested animals with a 5% soapy.) microplus as an as organophosphorus. Broglio-Micheletti et al. DAVID. Deltamethrin: Dmt. 2012 Tagetes minuta effect on ticks 409 Table 3. (2000) produced a concentrated emulsion of as replacements for.1 1.) microplus route of penetration. acaricide efficacy may vary by effective in inhibiting oviposition. high in vitro efficacy (100% inhibition of reproduction) by an Our results showed that the A. and Hyalomma anatolicum excavatum (WILLIAMS. on several factors. (B. such as Amblyomma hebraeum. (B. Abdel-Shafy and Zayed (2002) tick species. decoloratus.

52. 19(1): 46-50. Ballerini G. leaves and contribute to the trend of integrating natural products into tick flowers. Alternative method of tick control: The organic farmer.biovision. Barros JC. Arzua M.org/10. Rev Colomb The results of Knaak and Fiuza (2010) showed that the Entomol 2001. 21(125): 8-10. Rodriguez low efficacy of each individual chemical in the control of these BJL. Seção  1. Vet http://dx. 2006.  10165. Romero NA.08 Parasitol  2002. 2008.1016/S1532-0456(01)00255-1 Food and Agriculture Organization  –  FAO. Dias NS. In vitro acaricidal effect plant extract of Knaak N. Guerrero FD.01901008 as a larval and adult acaricide for the control of four tick species Cen-Aguilar JF.1603/0022-2585-37. 27(1-2): 1-8. Carrapato em cães no Brasil.Conserv.1016/ safe and are used in fragrances and as food additives. Vet Parasitol 1998. Acaricide resistance. chlorpyriphos. Evaluation of custard seed oil and neem oil as acaricides.. Abdel-Shafy S. minuta has potential org/10. Ernst SE. 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