Nanoparticles as effective acaricides against ticks—A review

Giovanni Benelli, Filippo Maggi, Donato Romano, Cesare Stefanini, Baskaralingam Vaseeharan, Suresh Kumar, Akon Higuchi, Abdullah A. Alarfaj, Heinz Mehlhorn, Angelo Canale

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Ticks serve as vectors of a wide range of infectious agents deleterious to humans and animals. Tick bite prevention is based to a large extent on the use of chemical repellents and acaricides. However, development of resistance in targeted ticks, environmental pollution, and contamination of livestock meat and milk are major concerns. Recently, metal, metal oxide and carbon nanoparticles, particularly those obtained through green fabrication routes, were found to be highly effective against a wide array of arthropod pests and vectors. We summarize current knowledge on the toxicity of nanoparticles against tick vectors of medical and veterinary importance. We also discuss the toxicity of products from botanical- and bacterial-based as well as classic chemical nanosynthesis routes, showing differences in bioactivity against ticks based on the products used for the fabrication of nanoparticles. Further research is needed, to validate the efficacy of nanoparticle-based acaricides in the field and clarify mechanisms of action of nanoparticles against ticks. From a technical point of view, the literature analyzed here showed little standardization of size and weight of tested ticks, a lack of uniform methods to assess toxicity and concerns related to data analysis. Finally, an important challenge for future research is the need for ecotoxicology studies to evaluate potential negative effects on non-target organisms and site contamination arising from nanoparticle-based treatments in close proximity of livestock and farmers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-826
Number of pages6
JournalTicks and Tick-borne Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Acaricide
  • Bionanoscience
  • Green fabrication
  • Hard ticks
  • Nanopesticide
  • Nanosynthesis


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