Health Editor’s Note: With COVID-19 taking the spotlight in the medical research areas other health threats could creep in. One of the largest threats to health, especially in the warm, summer months is the mosquito which carries diseases, and this is a very long list, such as malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, filariasis, tularemia, dirofilariasis, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Ross River fever, La Crosse encephalitis, and Zika fever and the newer Keystone virus and Rift Valley fever. While some of these diseases are not found in the U.S. they are prevalent over the world.
Ticks cause diseases such as anaplasmosis, babesiosis, borreli mayonii, borrelia miyamotoi, bourbon virus, Colorado tick fever, ehrlichiosis, heartland virus, lyme disease, powassan disease, rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis, Rocky mountain spotted fever (RMSF), Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF), Tularemia, and 364D riskettsiosis. All of these illness can happen in various areas of the U.S.
People and animals can get very ill and possibly die from the above mosquito and tick borne diseases.
Having another repellent in the medical bag will be a good thing. Maybe products made with Nootkatone will even smell better…Carol
New Tick and Mosquito Repellent
CDC discovers active ingredient for development into new mosquito/tick insecticides and repellents
A new active ingredient, discovered and developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in insecticides and insect repellents.
The new ingredient, nootkatone, repels and kill ticks, mosquitoes, and a wide variety of other biting pests. Nootkatone is responsible for the characteristic smell and taste of grapefruit and is widely used in the fragrance industry to make perfumes and colognes. It is found in minute quantities in Alaska yellow cedar trees and grapefruit skin.
Nootkatone can now be used to develop new insect repellents and insecticides for protecting people and pets. CDC’s licensed partner, Evolva, is in advanced discussions with leading pest control companies for possible commercial partnerships. Companies interested in developing brand name consumer products will be required to submit a registration package to EPA for review, and products could be commercially available as early as 2022.
“CDC is proud to have led the research and development of nootkatone,” said Jay C. Butler, MD, Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases. “Providing new alternatives to existing bite-prevention methods paves the way to solving one of biggest challenges in preventing vector-borne diseases—preventing bites.”
Studies show that when nootkatone is formulated into insect repellents, they may protect from bites at similar rates as products with other active ingredients already available and can provide up to several hours of protection.
Nootkatone kills biting pests in a unique way, different from other insecticides already registered by the EPA, including pyrethroids, organophosphates, carbamates, and cyclodienes. Having a new effective ingredient for insecticide available will assist in addressing the growing levels of insecticide-resistance to other products currently in use, according to EPA.