Unusual pseudomyiasis with Musca domestica (housefly) larvae in a tracheostomy wound: A case report and literature review

July 21, 2013
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Abstract

We report a case of pseudomyiasis (accidental myiasis) in a 52-year-old man who had previously undergone surgery and placement of a tracheostomy tube for laryngeal cancer. The patient presented to our outpatient department with a foul-smelling, blood-stained discharge and frequent and severe episodic pain at the site of the tracheostomy. He also reported the discharge of many whitish larvae from the site. On clinical examination, 3 of these larvae were removed from the tracheostomy wound and later identified as Musca domestica (housefly) larvae. The patient underwent further mechanical removal twice daily for 3 days, during which time 23 more larvae, or maggots, were removed. His condition improved, and he returned for regular follow-up with no recurrence or complications. Myiasis is an infestation of humans and vertebrate animals by insect larvae that feed on both dead and living tissue. Myiasis is most common in hot and humid climates in tropical and subtropical regions, such as the underdeveloped areas of India, Africa, and Southeast Asia, which provide favorable breeding grounds for flies. Myiasis is classified as specific, semispecific, or accidental, depending on whether the fly larvae require a host in order to develop. We review the literature on myiasis and its entomologic aspects in general. We also discuss the need for the proper care of tracheostomy wound myiasis because the site of such an infestation is close to vital organs in the neck. To the best of our knowledge, only 3 cases of tracheostomy wound myiasis have been previously reported in the English-language literature; 2 of them involved infestation with Chrysomyia bezziana larvae and 1 with Lucilia caesar larvae. We believe our case is the first case of tracheostomy wound pseudomyiasis attributable to M domestica larvae.

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