Myiasis: causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

Myiasis is a parasitic disease caused by the maggots of flies.


Causes

Flies lay eggs in the normal or necrotic tissues, and the hatched maggots result in tissue infections accompanied by severe inflammatory reactions and secondary bacterial infections, mostly on the exposed areas such as the skin.

Figure 1 maggot escaping from the skin


Signs and Symptoms

The hairs, hooks, spines, and migrations of maggots can stimulate the host. There are sharp pain, pruritus, foreign body sensation, and migration sensation in a certain part of the body. There are sneezes and foreign body sensation in the nose in patients with nasal myiasis. Patients with genitourinary myiasis may present with sharp pain, migration sensation, frequent urination, urgency, and dysuria in the lower abdomen, urethra, and vagina. In patients with cutaneous myiasis, there may be subcutaneous sharp pain, migration sensation, and even tunnels caused by the migration of maggots. In addition, the maggots carry bacteria on the body surface, which may cause infection. In nasal myiasis, maggots may enter the cranial cavity through the sinuses, causing serious consequences and even death. In ocular myiasis, maggots may enter the eyeball and destroy the tissue, resulting in blindness. Some maggots feed on host tissues, and there may be serious consequences and even death.

Figure 2 myiasis


Diagnosis

If there are clinical presentations and maggots found in the tissue, the disease can be diagnosed.


Treatment

Maggots can be removed by surgery, and chloroform, turpentine, ether, vinyl chloride, and lidocaine can assist in the treatment.