Monday, December 11, 2006

Not the usual suspects: Human wound myiasis by phorids

Timothy E. Huntington, and Leon G. Higley, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Entomology, 202 Plant Industry Bldg, Lincoln, NE

Infestation of animal tissues by dipteran larvae (myiasis) commonly occurs in many species, but is unusual for humans in temperate regions. Nevertheless, human myiasis is regularly observed in many primary care facilities in the United States. Beyond medical issues associated with treating human myiasis, both the causal agent and the longevity of myiasis can have legal implications, for example as evidence of neglect. Cases of human myiasis in the United States typically involve imported myiasis from human bot fly, Dermatobia hominis, or facultative myiasis from calliphorids. Two cases of wound myiasis caused by phorid larvae occurred in southwestern Nebraska within ten months. Degree-day analysis indicates initial infestation two and three days before discovery. There are very few previous reports of phorid wound myiasis, so the occurrence of two cases in so short a period suggests phorids are more important than previously appreciated.

Species 1: Diptera Phoridae