Efficacy of sunlight-activatable porphyrin formulates on larvae of Anopheles gambiae M and S molecular forms and An. arabiensis: a potential novel biolarvicide for integrated malaria vector control

Acta Trop. 2012 Sep;123(3):239-43. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2012.05.011. Epub 2012 Jun 2.


Biolarvicides, such as microbial formulations based on Bacillus thuringiensis and B. sphaericus, have been found to be highly effective against mosquito larvae and are currently employed as eco-friendly alternatives to synthetic chemical insecticides for vector control. Recently, a porphyrin of natural origin has been suggested as a sunlight-activatable larvicide against the dengue vector Aedes aegypti. In order to validate the approach for the control of the malaria vector, we tested the photo-larvicidal activity of a novel porphyrin, namely meso-tri(N-methyl-pyridyl), mono(N-dodecyl-pyridyl)porphine, C12, associated with two specifically selected carriers, against Anopheles gambiae s.s. and An. arabiensis larvae, both laboratory reared and collected from malaria endemic sites in Burkina Faso. Both C12-porphyrin formulates, when administered to larvae at a 50μM porphyrin dose, were accumulated in the alimentary canal. Subsequent exposure of the porphyrin-loaded larvae to sunlight for short times (0.5-3h) led to a complete mortality. The high efficacy exhibited by a "foodstuff" porphyrin formulate also in the presence of typical larval food particles opens promising perspectives for the development of an effective photocidal larvicide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anopheles / drug effects*
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / pathogenicity
  • Burkina Faso
  • Female
  • Insecticides / chemistry
  • Insecticides / pharmacology*
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Mosquito Control / methods*
  • Pest Control, Biological / methods
  • Porphyrins / chemistry
  • Porphyrins / pharmacology*
  • Sunlight*
  • Survival Analysis


  • Insecticides
  • Porphyrins