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Semi-synthetic Cinnamodial Analogues: Structural Insights into the Insecticidal and Antifeedant Activities of Drimane Sesquiterpenes Against the Mosquito Aedes aegypti

By Preston K. Manwill, Megha Kalsi, Sijin Wu, Xiaolin Cheng, Peter M. Piermarini, H. Liva Rakotondraibe

Posted 31 Jan 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/536961 (published DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0008073)

The Aedes aegypti mosquito serves as a major vector for viral diseases, such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika, which are spreading across the globe and threatening public health. In addition to increased vector transmission, the prevalence of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes is also on the rise, thus solidifying the need for new, safe and effective insecticides to control mosquito populations. We recently discovered that cinnamodial, a unique drimane sesquiterpene dialdehyde of the Malagasy medicinal plant Cinnamosma fragrans, exhibited significant larval and adult toxicity to Ae. aegypti and was more efficacious than DEET-the gold standard for insect repellents - at repelling adult female Ae. aegypti from blood feeding. In this study several semisynthetic analogues of cinnamodial were prepared to probe the structure-activity relationship (SAR) for larvicidal, adulticidal and antifeedant activity against Ae. aegypti. Initial efforts were focused on modification of the dialdehyde functionality to produce more stable active analogues and to understand the importance of the 1,4-dialdehyde and the alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl in the observed bioactivity of cinnamodial against mosquitoes. This study represents the first investigation into the SAR of cinnamodial as an insecticide and repellent against the medically important Ae. aegypti mosquito.

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