Maximising the secondary beneficial effects of larval debridement therapy

J Wound Care. 2013 Nov;22(11):610-11, 614-6. doi: 10.12968/jowc.2013.22.11.610.


Laboratory-based clinical investigations have shown that maggots and their secretions promote, among other activities, fibroblast motogenesis and angiogenesis. These events would contribute to re-granulation if translated to the wound environment. Maggot secretions also have ascribed antibacterial actions and may exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. Many of these biological events would be lost in the presence of necrotic tissue, making debridement a prerequisite for the release of larval-secreted secondary beneficial effects on the wound. We argue that Larval Debridement Therapy (LDT) should be considered as a primary and secondary treatment in wound management, with the primary application designed to debride the wound, and with subsequent applications to the debrided wound targeted to cellular events that promote healing. This review lends support to a re-evaluation of larval application protocols, in order to optimally harness the potential secondary beneficial clinical effects of larval therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Debridement / methods*
  • Diptera / enzymology
  • Diptera / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism*
  • Larva / enzymology
  • Larva / metabolism*
  • Reperfusion / methods
  • Wound Healing / physiology*
  • Wound Infection / prevention & control
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*


  • Insect Proteins