Maggot debridement therapy with Lucilia cuprina: a comparison with conventional debridement in diabetic foot ulcers

Int Wound J. 2009 Feb;6(1):39-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-481X.2008.00564.x.


This is prospective case-control study of more than 18 months performed to assess the effectiveness of maggot debridement therapy (MDT) with the sterile larvae of Lucilia cuprina (a tropical blowfly maggot) for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Literature thus far has only reported results with the temperate maggot, Lucilia sericata. This study documents outcome in diabetic foot wounds treated with maggot debridement versus those treated by conventional debridement alone. In this series of 29 patients treated with MDT, 14 wounds were healed, 11 were unhealed and 4 were classified under others. The control group treated by conventional debridement had 30 patients of which 18 wounds were healed, 11 unhealed and 1 classified under others. There was no significant difference in outcome between the two groups. The conclusion that can be made from this study is that MDT with L. cuprina is as effective as conventional debridement in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. It would be a feasible alternative to those at high risk for surgery or for those who refuse surgery.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Debridement / methods*
  • Diabetic Foot / microbiology
  • Diabetic Foot / pathology
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy*
  • Diptera*
  • Humans
  • Larva*
  • Malaysia
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing