Evaluation of conventional therapeutic methods versus maggot therapy in the evolution of healing of tegumental injuries in Wistar rats with and without diabetes mellitus

Parasitol Res. 2016 Jun;115(6):2403-7. doi: 10.1007/s00436-016-4991-8. Epub 2016 Mar 15.


Larval therapy consists on the application of sterilized carrion flies larvae, reared in laboratory, on acute, chronic, and/or infected wounds in order to promote healing. Conventional methods for treating injuries include mechanical debridement or silver-based dressings; however, they are not always effective for wound healing. Larval therapy is a feasible and safe treatment for therapeutic application and, in many cases, the only and the most recommended alternative for difficult healing injuries. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the competence of Cochliomyia macellaria F. (Diptera: Calliphoridae) as a suitable species for therapeutic application and evaluate time and effectiveness of the types of treatments most commonly used to treat integumental injuries. C. macellaria eggs were obtained from colonies established in laboratory and sterilized prior to application. Twenty-five larvae were applied for each centimeter squared of lesion. Lesions were induced in 24 Wistar rats; type 1 diabetes mellitus was induced in 12 of them. Animals were divided in four groups with three individuals each, being denominated: larval therapy, larval therapy associated with foam dressing with silver release, mechanical debridement with foam dressing silver and control group, without treatment. All treatments were applied once and held for 24 h. Medical application of larvae was found to be safe, as only dead tissue was removed, and efficient to accelerate healing process when compared to other treatments.

Keywords: Blowflies; Healing; Injuries; Larval therapy.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Debridement / methods*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / chemically induced
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Diptera / physiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Integumentary System / injuries
  • Larva
  • Male
  • Necrosis / therapy*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Skin / injuries
  • Wound Healing
  • Wound Infection / prevention & control*