Article

Effectiveness of eucalyptus and cinnamon essential oils compared to permethrin in treatment of head lice infestation

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Abstract

Background and Objective: Head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) is one of the most important parasites in humans and applying permethrin is the standard method for its control. Continuous application of this chemical increases the probability of permethrin resistance and gradually the addition of alternative substances is necessary. The aim of this study was evaluation of the efficacy of eucalyptus and cinnamon essential oils in head lice treatment compared to permethrin. Materials and Methods: The essential oils of Eucalyptus globules and Cinnamomum zeylanicum were extracted using a hydrodistilation method and their components were identified via gas chromatography. In the single-blind clinical trial, 95 infested cases residing in Zanjan were categorized into groups of 34, 31 and 30, receiving eucalyptus, cinnamon and permethrin treatment respectively. The lice infestation and hatching rate of nits were investigated before and after the intervention. Results: The major components of eucalyptus and cinnamon were 1,8-cineole, alpha-pinene, cinnamaldehyde, and 2-propenal, 3-phenyl respectively. The hatching rate of nits was equal in study groups before the intervention. Eucalyptus shampoo showed a higher therapeutic effect than the other substances (p < 0.06). Mortality rates of nits before and after the treatment with eucalyptus and permethrin showed a significant difference (p= 0.009), whereas this difference was non-significant with cinnamon (p= 0.08). The efficacy of cinnamon and permethrin shampoos was equal (p= 0.139). The comparison of nit mortality rates showed a significant difference between the eucalyptus-cinnamon groups (p= 0.06), while differences between the eucalyptus-permethrin groups and the cinnamon-permethrin groups were non-significant (p> 0.28). Conclusion: Eucalyptus essential oil had a greater therapeutic effect on head lice. This compound is recommended as an alternative to permethrin or for use in combination with permethrin in the head lice control program. © 2017, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences and Health Services. All Rights Reserved.

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... Published Online: March 31, 2022 ucts, the rate of diffusion through the cuticle and some physicochemical variables such as the density and the molecular structure of the EO components may affect the penetration rate and finally, contact toxicity of the EOs (18)(19). So far, numerous plant essential oils have been studied to determine their pediculicidal properties against head lice around the world (8,(13)(14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21)(22)(23)(24)(25)(26). ...
... Adulticidal and ovicidal activity against P. capitis has been reported for some essential oils. Many essential oils that are recommended for the treatment of head lice including eucalyptus, rosemary, geranium, tea tree, lemon, and their components were studied for possible adulticide and repellent effects on head and body lice (13)(14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21)(22)(23)(24)(25)(26)(27). ...
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Background: Pediculosis, caused by Pediculus spp is an important public health problem in urban and rural areas around the world. Natural compounds such as plant essential oils (EOs) have been suggested as a potential alternative for insect pest control recently. The purpose of this study was to investigate the toxicity of Foeniculum vulgare essential oil against the head louse, Pediculus capitis under laboratory conditions. Methods: Fennel essential oil components were analyzed using GC-mass apparatus. Immersion and contact filter paper bioassays were used to evaluate fennel essential oil toxicity at the two-fold concentrations of 2.5, 5, 10, 20, and 40% against nit and nymph/adult stages of the head louse. Results: Trans-anethole, α-Thujone, and limonene, which consisted of 76.08%, 10.37%, and 5.34% were the most com­ponents of fennel oil respectively. The LC50 values for the adult /nymphs were 11.5, 6.4, 3.9, 3.1 and 2.5% and LC99 values were 29.5, 15.2, 12.8, 10.8, and 7.4% at 10, 20, 30, 45 and 60 minutes after exposure respectively. The le­thal times (LT50) for adults/nymphs were 5.2, 8.1, 9.5, 20.5, and 45.8 minutes and LT99 were 138.6, 91.3, 23.8, 21.7, and 13.9 minutes in the concentrations of 2.5, 5, 10, 20 and 40%, respectively. LC50 and LC99 values were 2.32% and 7.36% after 5 days for the eggs. Conclusion: Fennel essential oil at the concentration of 15% after 20min is suggested to develop as an appropriate for­mulation to evaluate in clinical trials.
... In another investigation conducted in Urmia (West Azerbaijan Province), Hazrati Tappeh et al. [37] studied the head lice prevalence among female students and reported a relative frequency of 4%. Two similar surveys recorded 4.5% and 11% frequency of head lice among elementary school students in Asadabad (Hamadan Province) and Zanjan (Zanjan Province) districts, respectively [39,48]. A previous report from Meshgin Shahr County (Ardabil Province), has also uncovered a high incidence of pediculosis among primary school students [40]. ...
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Background: The head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, is the most important ectoparasite causing many health problems. Several linkages are presented for this parasite, each representing a particular geographical distribution, prevalence rate, vector competence, susceptibility to pediculicides, and infestation rate. Determining the genetic nature of these linkages is necessary to identify the population structure and also to develop and monitor control programmes against head lice. This study was designed to analyse cox1 and cytb genes and determine the mitochondrial clades in head lice populations in the northwest of Iran. Methods: Adult head lice were collected from infested females of Ardabil, East and West Azerbaijan, and Zanjan Provinces from 2016 to 2018. Partial fragments of the mitochondrial genes cox1 and cytb were amplified by PCR and some of the amplicons were sequenced. All confirmed sequences were analysed, and the frequency of each mitochondrial clade was determined in the studied areas. Results: A total of 6410 females were clinically examined, and 897 adult head lice were collected from 562 infested cases. Genomic DNA was extracted from 417 samples, and fragments of cox1 and cytb genes were amplified in 348 individuals. Analysis of the 116 sequences showed the 632-bp and 495-bp fragments for cox1 and cytb genes, respectively. The nucleotide and haplotype diversities of cytb and cox1 genes were 0.02261 and 0.589 and 0.01443 and 0.424, respectively. Sequence analysis indicated 6 haplotypes clustered in two clades, A and B. The relative prevalence of clade B was 73% for cytb and 82% for cox1 gene. Haplotypes of clade B were found in all the studied areas, while those of clade A were observed only in rural and suburban areas. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study investigated deeply the field populations of Pediculus and documented two clades in the Middle East. The considerable prevalence of pediculosis in the studied areas requires authorities' attention to establish effective control and preventive measures. Given the role of cytb in monitoring population groups, application of this marker is suggested for future epigenetic studies to evaluate the factors affecting the abundance of these clades.
... A single-blind clinical trial on pediculosis tested two essential oils, one of Eucalyptus globulus and one of Cinnamomum zeylanicum, both containing α-pinene, and found eucalyptus oil to be superior to permethrin [141], while a second study evaluated the effects of essential oil obtained from the leaves of Lippia multiflora and found it to be superior to benzyl benzoate [142]. In both cases, however, given the recognized significant activity of 1,8-cineole and terpineol, respectively, on pediculosis, it is impossible to declare pinene as an active and useful compound per se. ...
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The aim of this research work is to analyze the chemistry and diversity of forest VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and to outline their evidence-based effects on health. This research work was designed as a narrative overview of the scientific literature. Inhaling forest VOCs like limonene and pinene can result in useful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the airways, and the pharmacological activity of some terpenes absorbed through inhalation may be also beneficial to promote brain functions by decreasing mental fatigue, inducing relaxation, and improving cognitive performance and mood. The tree composition can markedly influence the concentration of specific VOCs in the forest air, which also exhibits cyclic diurnal variations. Moreover, beneficial psychological and physiological effects of visiting a forest cannot be solely attributed to VOC inhalation but are due to a global and integrated stimulation of the five senses, induced by all specific characteristics of the natural environment, with the visual component probably playing a fundamental role in the overall effect. Globally, these findings can have useful implications for individual wellbeing, public health, and landscape design. Further clinical and environmental studies are advised, since the majority of the existing evidence is derived from laboratory findings.
... However, only a small number of clinical studies referring to α-and β-pinene are available on this subject. For instance, the EO of Eucalyptus globulus and Cinnamomum zeylanicum, which contain α-and β-pinene as the major components, were tested in a single-blind clinical study consisting of 95 cases infested with head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) as compared to permethrin as reference drug [115]. The most effective one was found to be E. globulus EO-containing shampoo (p < 0.06), while C. zeylanicum showed equal efficacy to that of permethrin (p = 0.139). ...
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... The common occurrence of lice in children even in developed countries has stimulated companies to search for new, efficient sub- stances for the development of protective cosmetics also in the field of EOs. Manufacturers of special insecticidal shampoos focused particu- larly on the inexpensive and efficient eucalyptus EO, based on which several commercial products have been developed ( Avello et al., 2016;Ghavami and Ahmadi, 2017;Greive and Barnes, 2017). However, some The average percentage of repellence or mortality (respective applied concentration or dose of essential oil). ...
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