Biocompatibility of antimicrobials to maggot debridement therapy: medical maggots Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae) exhibit tolerance to clinical maximum doses of antimicrobials

J Med Entomol. 2012 Sep;49(5):1137-43. doi: 10.1603/me12066.


The larvae of calliphorid flies are used to debride wounds of patients with severe tissue destruction, often concurrently with antimicrobials. The current study evaluates the effects of ceftazidime, tobramycin, amikacin, gentamicin, polymyxin B, doxycycline, paromomycin, amphotericin B, sodium stibogluconate, and miltefosine at 1, 10, and 100 x the Maximum Clinical Concentration (mg/kg/d) in raw liver assays. Effects on larvae were small and depended on dose and antimicrobial formulation, with hours in assay (24 or 48 h) having a significant effect on larval survival. Sodium stibgluconate had the strongest effect on maggot survival (80.0% at 48 h). These results suggest that the antimicrobials tested here may be used simultaneously with maggot debridement therapy, and may actually increase the effectiveness of maggot debridement therapy in certain applications where >1 x Maximum Clinical Concentration is indicated, such as topical creams for cutaneous leishmaniasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aminoglycosides / pharmacology
  • Amphotericin B / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cephalosporins / pharmacology
  • Debridement*
  • Diptera / drug effects*
  • Doxycycline / pharmacology
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Polymyxins / pharmacology


  • Aminoglycosides
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Cephalosporins
  • Polymyxins
  • Amphotericin B
  • Doxycycline