Use of a maggot motility index to evaluate survival of therapeutic larvae

Anthony Rosales, Jefferey R. Vazquez, Brian Short, Heather R. Kimbriel, Matthew J. Claxton, Brent P. Nixon, Andrew J.M. Boulton, David G. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Maggot debridement therapy is rapidly increasing in popularity at major diabetic foot and wound care centers worldwide. However, we are unaware of specific guidelines on the short-term storage of larvae. We sought to evaluate differences in maggot motility over time in larvae refrigerated versus those stored at room temperature. We also introduce a simple surrogate method for evaluating maggot vitality that may be useful for in vivo studies if validated in future works. We randomly selected ten larvae from the same shipment at ten different times in 9 days. Larvae were placed on a translucent acetate grid, and their total excursion in 30 sec was measured. This was converted into a Maggot Motility Index. In the refrigerated group, the index remained at or above 40 mm/min for approximately 60 hours from baseline, when there was a significant decrease. This same phenomenon occurred during the first 12 hours in the nonrefrigerated group. There were significant differences in motility between refrigerated and nonrefrigerated larvae immediately after baseline until day 8. Larvae are more practical for repeated clinical use if kept refrigerated between applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-355
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Podiatric Medical Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Podiatry
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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