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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Use of repellents as prophylactic agents.

Many biting insects are able to transmit diseases or are a regarded as pests. The use of repellents is one personal protection measure to avoid to been bitten. The first components which were used for this purpose were of plant origin. Some are still used, e.g., citronella oil. Systematic evaluation of synthetic repellents began during the Second World War. The most important compound resulting from these efforts is Deet, followed by less important ones such as dimethylphthalate or ethyl hexane diol. Compounds of more recent research are MERCK 3535 (aminopropionic acid ethylester), p-menthane-3,8 diol, CIC 4 (a lacton) and the piperidine derivatives AI3-37220 and Bayrepel (Icaridin). An overview of the toxicity and efficacy is given. A chance to improve the cosmetic properties and long duration efficacy is the development of new formulations. Applications other than the dermal one are the use of repellents as slow release formulations to achieve a long range effect and the development of systemic compounds, which are taken orally. To date, neither strategy has led to successful solutions.[1]


  1. Use of repellents as prophylactic agents. Nentwig, G. Parasitol. Res. (2003) [Pubmed]
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