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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 3 (2006), Issue 2, Pages 223-227
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nel021
Review Article

Maggot Therapy: The Science and Implication for CAM Part I—History and Bacterial Resistance

1School of Health Science, University of Wales Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Wales Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
3Biosurgical Research Unit (SMTL), Princess of Wales Hospital, Coity Road, Bridgend CF31 1RQ, UK

Received 13 September 2005; Accepted 23 March 2006

Copyright © 2006 Yamni Nigam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

It is now a universally acknowledged fact that maggot therapy can be used successfully to treat chronic, long-standing, infected wounds, which have previously failed to respond to conventional treatment. Such wounds are typically characterized by the presence of necrotic tissue, underlying infection and poor healing. Maggot therapy employs the use of freshly emerged, sterile larvae of the common green-bottle fly, Phaenicia (Lucilia) sericata, and is a form of artificially induced myiasis in a controlled clinical situation. In this review article, we will discuss the role of maggots and their preparation for clinical use. Maggot therapy has the following three core beneficial effects on a wound: debridement, disinfection and enhanced healing. In part I we explore our current understanding of the mechanisms underlying these effects.