Cumbria, Wales—A team from the vascular unit at West Cumberland hospital here claims to have achieved excellent results using live maggots—euphemistically known as larval therapy—to treat leg ulcers.
In a bid to prove to their National Health Service managers that their purchase of maggots was justifiable, vascular surgeon Michael Walker, MD, and Anne Walker, RCN, a specialist in treating leg ulcers (not related to Michael), conducted a pilot study of 12 patients with necrotic leg ulcers (J Tissue Viability. 2000;10:91-94). Half were treated with conventional hydrogel therapy and the other half with application of maggots.
Phaenicia sericata eggs and larvae on sheep blood agar culture plate. These maggots are used for larval therapy in many countries. (Photo credit: Ronald A. Sherman, MD)
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