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.
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