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Clinical Notes |

Human Botfly Infestation in the United States

Harry D. L. Kaye, MD; Richard P. Higgins, BSA
JAMA. 1964;189(1):64. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070010070020.
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OCCURRENCE of the human botfly, Dermatobia hominis, has been unknown in the United States according to the files of the Entomology Department of the US Department of Agriculture and the Florida State Board of Health.1-3 This curious fly has a very interesting history.1,4 The female glues its eggs to other Diptera which it captures, gauging the weight of the eggs according to the strength of the carrier. These carriers include stable and house flies, and mosquitoes or ticks. The larva hatches and leaves its egg when the carrier is in contact with the host, making its entry into the subcutaneous tissue through a puncture made by the carrier, a hair follicle, or a macerated area from contact. Each larva makes a separate abscess-like lesion with drainage which occurs in the wound. The adult is a 12-mm, powerful-appearing fly, resembling a bluebottle fly, with a yellow head, dull blue-grey


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