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J Tissue Viability. 2009 Aug;18(3):80-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jtv.2009.02.005. Epub 2009 Apr 9.

Do maggots have an influence on bacterial growth? A study on the susceptibility of strains of six different bacterial species to maggots of Lucilia sericata and their excretions/secretions.

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1
Department of Trauma Surgery, VU University Medical Center, P.O. Box 7057, 1007MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The maggots of Lucilia sericata are successfully used as a treatment for infected wounds. Many articles are published about possible direct antibacterial properties of maggots and their excretions/secretions (ES), but with different results. The present study reinvestigates the susceptibility of six bacterial strains to maggots and their ES.

METHODS:

Live maggots were added to a bacterial suspension. After incubation for 16 h, the bacterial growth in this suspension was compared with the growth in a suspension without maggots. We tested Instar-1 and Instar-3 maggots and compared nutrient broths. A turbidimetric assay investigated the antibacterial activity of ES. Finally, we compared the bacterial growth of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

RESULTS:

The test with live maggots showed an increase of bacterial growth. Instar-1 maggots stimulated more bacterial growth than Instar-3 maggots, as well as the use of a more nutritious broth. The turbidimetric assay showed no inhibition of bacterial growth. For all bacteria, except Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an increase in bacterial growth was shown.

CONCLUSION:

There is no direct antibacterial effect of maggots and/or ES in vitro, however in clinical observations maggot therapy is successful. More research is needed to focus on possible indirect antibacterial activity, such as an immune-related effect.

PMID:
19362001
DOI:
10.1016/j.jtv.2009.02.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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