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- myiasis is an infestation of human tissue by the larvae of certain flies.
There are many forms of myiasis, including localized furuncular myiasis, creeping
dermal myiasis and wound and body cavity myiasis.
- Cordylobia anthropophaga (the Tumbu fly) and Dermatobia hominis (the
human botfly) are the most common causes of myiasis in Africa and tropical
- the female fly deposits her eggs on dry sand polluted with the excrement
of animals or on human clothing - the larva is activated by the warm body
of the host, hatches and invades the skin.
- as the larva matures, it induces a furuncular swelling. It eventually
exits the skin and falls to the ground to pupate. The adult fly then emerges
and the life cycle resumes
- in humans, the skin lesion starts as a red papule that gradually enlarges
and develops into a furuncle (boil) that moves. In the centre of the lesion
an opening forms, through which the larva breaths and discharges its serosanguinous
feces. The lesion is associated with increasing pain until the larva exits
the skin. The disease is usually uncomplicated and self-limiting.
- removal of the larva followed by twice daily application of an antibacterial
ointment (3). In this method the extraction was done by injecting 2% xylocaine
over the base of the nodule. Care was exercised in not damaging the larva
- it has also been suggested that treatment/asphyxiation of the larvae
could be achieved via covering the opening of the skin lesion with an
occlusive dressing (1) - the larva would then need to be removed
- Pulse (2003), 63 (45), 61.
Travel Med. 2003 Sep-Oct;10(5):293-5.
Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2003 Apr;13(4):195-7.
Last reviewed 01/2018