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Maggot Debridement Therapy (MDT) is the medical use of live maggots (fly larvae) for treating non-healing wounds. In maggot debridement therapy (also known as maggot therapy, larva therapy, larval therapy, biodebridement or biosurgery), disinfected fly larvae are applied to the wound for 2 or 3 days within special dressings to keep them from migrating.

maggot
Baby maggot for maggot debridement
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No bacteria

 

maggot1
Bacteria grow, maggot is not steriled and therefore discarded

The literature identifies three primary actions of medical grade maggots on wounds:

  • They clean the wounds by dissolving dead and infected tissue (“debridement”)
  • They disinfect the wound (kill bacteria)
  • They speed the rate of healing.
  • The strains only eat slough, necrotic (or dead tissue) tissue, bacteria as well as stimulate the wound to heal to some extends. When there is no more food for the maggots, they will crawl out and can be removed with a simple wipe, wash, or irrigation.
  • Medical-grade maggots do not bury in or feed on healthy tissue. What’s more, they are obligate air-breathers. Therefore, they must remain where there is air, and they will leave the body as soon as they are finished feeding or as soon as there is no more dead, infected tissue left.

 

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