Cutaneous myiasis: a review of the common types of myiasis

Int J Dermatol. 2010 Oct;49(10):1092-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2010.04577.x.


Myiasis is derived from the Greek word, myia, meaning fly. The term was first introduced by Hope in 1840 and refers to the infestation of live human and vertebrate animals with dipterous (two-winged) larvae (maggots) which, at least for a certain period, feed on the host's dead or living tissue, liquid body-substance, or ingested food. Myiasis is the fourth most common travel-associated skin disease and cutaneous myiasis is the most frequently encountered clinical form. Cutaneous myiasis can be divided into three main clinical manifestations: furuncular, creeping (migratory), and wound (traumatic) myiasis. The flies that produce a furuncular myiasis include Dermatobia hominis, Cordylobia anthropophaga, Wohlfahrtia vigil, and the Cuterebra species. Gasterophilus and Hypoderma are two flies that produce a creeping myiasis. Flies that cause wound myiasis include screwworm flies such as Cochliomyia hominivorax and Chrysomya bezziana, and Wohlfahrtia magnifica. This article reviews current literature, provides general descriptions, and discusses life cycles of each species. It also gives treatment techniques and descriptions of each type of illness that results from interaction/infestation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiparasitic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Debridement
  • Diptera / growth & development
  • Diptera / parasitology
  • Erythema / parasitology
  • Humans
  • Insect Repellents / administration & dosage
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Mosquito Nets
  • Myiasis / diagnosis*
  • Myiasis / therapy*
  • Pruritus / parasitology


  • Antiparasitic Agents
  • Insect Repellents