Oral Myiasis in an elderly patient

Oral myiasis in an elderly patient

Case report from: Michel Campos Ribeiro, André De Oliveira Pepato, Fernando Pando De Matos, Cássio Edvard Sverzut, Ana Amélia Carraro Abrahão, Alexandre Elias Trivellato Article first published online: 1 OCT 2010 in Gerodontology. Volume 29, Issue 2, pages e1136–e1139, June 2012 DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2010.00432.x

Background:  Myiasis is the invasion of living tissue of humans and other mammals by eggs or maggots of flies of the order of Diptera. It occurs mainly in the Tropics and is associated with inadequate public and personal hygiene. Oral myiases in an older man appears to be rare.

Objective:  To relate a case of oral myiases in a debilitated older man treated by mechanical removal of the maggots, identifying the adult insect that caused the infestation.

Methods:  The diagnosis of oral myiasis was established by the clinical examination and it was detected that the infestation involved only soft tissue and the sinus cavity. The patient was submitted to two mechanical removal of the visible maggots.

Results:  Total of 110 maggots was removed from the oral cavity of the patient and adult insects was identified as belonging to the Calliphoridae Family, Cochliomyia hominivorax species. The patient died two days after the second procedure by severe systemic complications.

Conclusions:  The mechanic removal and the identification of the maggots must be adopted as soon as possible to prevent further tissue damage and bacterial infection in cases of oral myiasis. Special attention should be given to the debilitated old patients that are particularly susceptible to oral myiasis infestation.


Note from Robert ten Hove

Larval infestations from Dermatobia hominis and Cordylobia anthrophaga rarely result in severe pathologies. Larvae from Cochliomyia hominivorax, however, feast on living tissue of warm-blooded animals and are therefore considered potentially dangerous to livestock and humans.

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