Mangrove Leaf Insect Repellent

The Problem

Disease-carrying mosquitoes are a major problem in Ghana, specifically Aedes Aegypti (can spread yellow fever, dengue fever, Zika, and other viruses), Anopheles Stephensi (malaria), and Culex Quinquefasciatus (filarial disease) [1]. Many disease-carrying species, particularly aedes aegypti, are resistant to common insecticides including pyrethroids and carbamates [2]. A study conducted in Ghana showed that 96-97% resistant to bendiocarb, 90-96% resistant to permethrin, 91-96% resistant to deltamethrin but is susceptible to organophosphates [2]. Additionally, insecticides are toxic to humans with organophosphates causing 300,000 deaths globally each year [3, 4].

Our Solution

We propose creating a natural, eco-friendly mosquito repellent using mangrove leaf extract that targets disease-carrying mosquitoes in Ghana. Through our preliminary research, we discovered that red mangrove extract is repellent and larvicidal against the main disease-carrying mosquitoes present in Ghana, including those that carry yellow fever, malaria, and filarial disease. A mosquito repellent using mangrove extract has been manufactured in Australia, but this product was specifically formulated for Australian mosquitoes and sandflies showing it is as effective as DEET and nontoxic [5]. We would develop a repellent that could be manufactured on-site in Ghana, using an extract from the red mangroves grown in the region and other common materials for the extraction and manufacturing process [6]. We are also looking into using a similar process to create a mosquito larvicide from the mangrove extract.

References

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/mosquitoes/mosquito-control/professionals/range.html

[2] https://parasitesandvectors.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13071-022-05179-w

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482183/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470430/

[5] https://loveyourtravels.co/product-review-mangrove-magic-all-natural-insect-potion/

[6] http://www.mangrove.at/rhizophora-mangle_red-mangrove.html

Team Leads

Charlotte Volk

Charlotte is a U3.5 Bioengineering student interested in computational biology, immunology, and oncology.

In her free time, Charlotte loves to figure skate, read, and crochet.

Emma Wong

Emma is currently in U2 Bioengineering, and is interested in the clinical applications of biotechnology and the electro-mechanical machinery of the heart.


Emma loves taking care of her plants, playing guitar, reading in the park, and surfing.