Research by scientists in Hawaii has shown that using maggots rather than an enzyme or scalpel to remove infected or dead tissue can help difficult wounds heal better for people with type 2 diabetes. The process, called debridement, is used to ensure that diabetics are effectively treated and that bad wounds do not get worse and lead to loss of limb.
The study involved testing 37 diabetes patients suffering from artery disease that had resulted in bad circulation in the limbs and troublesome wounds. Between 50 and 100 maggots were placed on the wounds for a couple of days before being replaced with new ones, a process that was repeated a few times.
The maggots secrete a substance that liquefies the dead tissue before they ingest it and clean the wound. It is thought that other substances in the secretions also allow for the development of connective tissue that forms during the healing of the wound.
In the tests, 21 of the patients were successfully treated for infection, with the full removal of dead tissue and strong connective tissue formed in the wound, while five wounds that had been infected with the so-called superbug MRSA were also healed successfully in this way.
Researcher Lawrence Eron commented “Maggot debridement treatment is overwhelmingly effective. After just one treatment these wounds start looking better.”
However, this radical new treatment did not work for some patients, and the method has not yet been independently verified by researchers.

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