Background: Travellers are confronted with a variety of vector-borne threats. Is one type of repellent effective against all biting vectors? The aim of this review is to examine the literature, up to December 31st, 2012, regarding repellent efficacy.
Methods: We searched PubMed for relevant papers. Repellents of interest were DEET, Icaridin as well as other piperidine-derived products (SS220), Insect Repellent (IR) 3535 (ethyl-butylacetyl-amino-propionat, EBAAP) and plant-derived products, including Citriodora (para-menthane-3,8-diol). As vectors, we considered the mosquito species Anopheles, Aedes and Culex as well as the tick species Ixodes. We selected only studies evaluating the protective efficacy of repellents on human skin.
Results: We reviewed a total of 102 publications. Repellents were evaluated regarding complete protection time or as percentage efficacy [%] in a time interval. We found no standardized study for tick bite prevention.
Conclusions: Regarding Aedes, DEET at concentration of 20% or more, showed the best efficacy providing up to 10 h protection. Citriodora repellency against this mosquito genus was lower compared to the other products. Also between subspecies a difference could be observed: Ae. aegypti proved more difficult to repel than Ae. Albopictus. Fewer studies have been conducted on mosquito species Anopheles and Culex. The repellency profile against Anopheles species was similar for the four principal repellents of interest, providing on average 4-10 h of protection. Culex mosquitoes are easier to repel and all four repellents provided good protection. Few studies have been conducted on the tick species Ixodes. According to our results, the longest protection against Ixodes scapularis was provided by repellents containing IR3535, while DEET and commercial products containing Icaridin or PMD showed a better response than IR3535 against Ixodes ricinus. Many plant-based repellents provide only short duration protection. Adding vanillin 5% to plant-based repellents and to DEET repellents increased the protection by about 2 h.
Keywords: Citriodora; DEET; IR3535; Icaridin; Repellent efficacy.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.