Effects of a neem extract on blood feeding, oviposition and oocyte ultrastructure in Anopheles stephensi Liston (Diptera: Culicidae)

L. Lucantoni, F. Giusti, M. Cristofaro, L. Pasqualini, F. Esposito, P. Lupetti, A. Habluetzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)


Secondary metabolites of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica A. Juss., Meliaceae) exhibit a wide range of biological activities in insects. However, few studies have addressed the effects of neem extracts or compounds in arthropods of medical importance. In this study, a laboratory strain of Anopheles stephensi was used to assess the effects of a commercial formulation (Neem Azal®(NA)), containing azadirachtin A at 34%, on blood feeding, oviposition and oocyte ultrastructure. Oral administration of Neem Azal®to A. stephensi females through artificial blood meals did impair blood intake and oviposition in a concentration dependent manner. Similar results were obtained on females, which had consumed Neem Azal®in sucrose solution before taking a blood meal of plain blood. Neem treated females displayed a delay in oocyte development in both the phase of vitellogenesis and the phase of choriogenesis. The ultrastructural studies on ovaries from Neem Azal®treated females revealed distinct structural modifications indicative of: (i) a complete block of oogenesis, (ii) impairment of vitellogenesis and vitelline envelope formation, (iii) a severe degeneration of follicle cells. In agreement with results obtained in other insects, this study indicates that Neem Azal®impairs hormone control of oogenesis and exerts a cytotoxic effect on both follicular cells and oocytes of the Asian malaria vector A. stephensi. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361 - 371
Number of pages11
JournalTissue and Cell
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Lucantoni, L., Giusti, F., Cristofaro, M., Pasqualini, L., Esposito, F., Lupetti, P., & Habluetzel, A. (2006). Effects of a neem extract on blood feeding, oviposition and oocyte ultrastructure in Anopheles stephensi Liston (Diptera: Culicidae). Tissue and Cell, 38(6), 361 - 371. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tice.2006.08.005