Cutaneous ulcers tend to become chronic and have a profound impact on quality of life. These wounds may become infected and lead to greater morbidity and even mortality. In the past, larvae (ie, maggots) of certain common flies (Lucilia sericata and Lucilia cuprina) were considered useful in ulcer management because they only remove necrotic tissue while promoting healthy tissue in the wound bed, thus helping wounds heal faster. Recently, maggots from several other fly species (Calliphora vicina, Calliphora vomitoria, Phormia regina, Chrysomya albiceps, Sarcophaga carnaria, and Hermetia illucens) have been shown in vitro to possess characteristics (ie, debridement efficacy and putative antimicrobial potentialities) that make them suitable candidates for possible use in clinical practice. This review presents a historical analysis of larval debridement and speculates future directions based on the literature presented.
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