Equinescienceupdate.com - Full Article
Could maggots be the way forward for wound healing? Clinicians in France and Mali have been using maggot debridement therapy (MDT) to manage chronic wounds. They presented their findings at the 2012 Convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.
Over a four year period, Dr Olivier Lepage and colleagues treated forty-one cases (35 horses, 4 donkeys, 2 ponies ) in the Equine Clinic at the veterinary campus of Lyon (France) and in the SPANA veterinary centre, Barnako (Mali).
The maggots used were sterile larvae of Lucilia sericata (common green bottle fly maggots), which have been used in human medicine to clean long-standing, infected or necrotic wounds. Maggots digest fibrin and necrotic tissue, along with bacteria, and secrete proteolytic enzymes and antimicrobial agents into the wound.
Interestingly these are the same species of fly larvae that are the most common cause of fly strike in rabbits and sheep. In horses (and humans) it appears that healthy tissue is able to inactivate the proteolytic enzymes so that only diseased tissue is digested. In contrast, sheep and rabbits can not inactivate the enzymes...
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