Therapeutic effects of Lucilia sericata larvae on cutaneous leishmaniasis wounds caused by Leishmania major using BALB/c mice as animal model

Document Type: Original Article


1 MSc in Medical Entomology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University

2 Assistant Professor of Medical Entomology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University

3 Professor of Parasitology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University


Background: Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) is an endemic disease in Iran. The pentavalent antimonials as first-line drugs are losing efficacy because of side effects, disease relapse and drug resistance. Application of Lucilia sericata larvae (maggot therapy) to diabetic and refractory wounds approved to be satisfactory for accelerating healing process. In this study, therapeutic effects of L. sericata maggot was evaluated in vivo against leishmanial ulcer using BALB/c mice as animal model.
Methods: Female BALB/c mice were inoculated with promastigotes at the base of tails and kept for 28 days until the emergence of early ulcers. The mice were then underwent 4 treatments as follows: Glucantime alone, Glucantime plus maggots, maggot alone and positive control. The control and treated mice were monitored for a period of 5 weeks during which the wound diameters were measured and recorded on a weekly basis. Data were analyzed using Kolmogorov-Smirnov test and ANOVA T- test.
Results: Statistical analysis showed significant difference (P<0.05) between treated groups in terms of wounds diameters. The Glucantime treated mice had the least sized lesions. The wound sizes of otherwise treated mice were smaller than those of control mice, but with no statistically significant differences. Control mice harbored active and progressing ulcers, while treated mice had shrinking and healing wounds upon maggot therapy.  
Conclusion: Maggot therapy accelerated closure and healing process of leishmanial wounds in BALB/c mice and appeared promising as a new combinatorial therapeutics for leishmaniasis. However, further clinical trials are needed to evaluate the efficacy of maggot therapy modalities for leishmanial lesion care.


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