The use of larval therapy in wound management in the UK

J Wound Care. 1999 Apr;8(4):177-9. doi: 10.12968/jowc.1999.8.4.25866.


This study identifies hospitals and institutions in the UK using larval therapy, and determines how this therapy is clinically managed in 23 of them. A qualitative approach was adopted, with the collection of documentary evidence and data from semi-structured interviews. Larval therapy is currently used in over 350 hospitals and institutions in the UK in the treatment of a variety of wound types. It was evident from the findings that it is generally used as a last resort. However, in two hospitals, this treatment method is part of the hospital's wound management policy. Nurses were able to identify wounds that have a better response to larval therapy and recognise symptoms that may occur during treatment. A number of wound types were found to be 'difficult' with regards to larvae application, and nurses had developed their own practices involving the application of dressings and the length of time larvae were left on wounds. Patients receiving this treatment reported few symptoms. It was claimed that larval therapy is particularly effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Debridement / methods*
  • Debridement / nursing*
  • Diptera*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Larva*
  • Methicillin Resistance
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / education
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / therapy
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom
  • Wound Healing
  • Wounds and Injuries / microbiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*