The anti-microbial activity of maggot secretions: results of a preliminary study

J Tissue Viability. 1999 Oct;9(4):127-32. doi: 10.1016/s0965-206x(99)80032-1.


The ability of larval secretions to kill or prevent the growth of a range of potentially pathogenic bacteria was investigated in a preliminary laboratory study. Marked anti-microbial activity was detected against Streptococcus A and B and Staphylococcus aureus. Some activity was also detected against Pseudomonas sp. and a clinical isolate of a resistant strain of S. aureus (MRSA). No evidence of inhibition was recorded against Enterococcus or the Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli and Proteus. These findings are consistent with clinical observations made by us and others that larvae of the common greenbottle are able to combat clinical infections in a variety of wound types including those caused by antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / growth & development*
  • Bacterial Infections / therapy*
  • Body Fluids / physiology*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Diptera
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Larva / physiology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Wound Healing / physiology*
  • Wound Infection / therapy*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents