[Comparative study of the efficacy of larva therapy for debridement and control of bacterial burden compared to surgical debridement and topical application of an antimicrobial]

Gac Med Mex. 2016 Oct;152(Suppl 2):78-87.
[Article in Spanish]


Maggot debridement therapy (MDT) is the use of medical grade maggots of the fly Lucilia sericata for wound debridement. Recent observations show that MDT decreases bacterial burden as well. Venous ulcers are the most commonly seen in wound clinics and require, besides adequate treatment of venous hypertension, proper wound bed preparation with debri dement of necrotic tissue and control of potential infections. To evaluate the efficacy of MDT in venous ulcers a randomized controlled trial was designed to compare MDT to surgical debridement and topical application of silver sulfadiazine (SSD) in 19 patients for 4 weeks. The study variables were area reduction, wound bed characteristics, pain, odor, anxiety and bacterial burden using quantitative tissue biopsies. MDT was effective as surgical debridement associated with topical SDD in the debridement of the wound and in reducing its size. A significant difference was observed in the reduction of bacterial burden in favor of the MDT group. Odor and anxiety increased in the MDT group without any difference in the pain intensity between groups. In conclusion, this study suggests that MDT is as effective as surgical debridement for the debridement of necrotic tissue and promote wound healing in venous ulcers and better at reducing bacterial burden.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control*
  • Debridement / methods*
  • Diptera
  • Humans
  • Larva*
  • Middle Aged
  • Silver Sulfadiazine / therapeutic use*
  • Varicose Ulcer / complications
  • Varicose Ulcer / microbiology
  • Varicose Ulcer / therapy*
  • Wound Healing


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Silver Sulfadiazine