Antibacterial properties of larval secretions of the blowfly, Lucilia sericata

Med Vet Entomol. 2005 Sep;19(3):333-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2915.2005.00577.x.


The antibacterial properties of secretions aseptically collected from larvae of the greenbottle fly Lucilia sericata (Meigen) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) were examined. These investigations revealed the presence of small (<1 kDa) antibacterial factor(s) within the larval secretions, active against a range of bacteria. These include the Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, both methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), Streptococcus pyogenes and to a lesser extent the Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These secretions were shown to be highly stable as a freeze-dried preparation and, considering the activity against organisms typically associated with clinical infection, may be a source of novel antibiotic-like compounds that may be used for infection control and in the fight against MRSA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / isolation & purification*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacteroides / drug effects
  • Diptera / chemistry*
  • Drug Stability
  • Enterococcus / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Larva / chemistry
  • Methicillin Resistance
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents