Sunday, August 3, 2008

Answer to Case 32

Identity: fly larva of a myiasis-causing fly
Stedmans Medical dictionary defines myiasis as "Any infection due to invasion of tissues or cavities of the body by larvae of dipterous insects."

Ian was correct in identifying this larva as Dermatobia hominis. The adult fly of this species doesn't deposit its eggs on the skin itself, but instead places the eggs on other flying insects such as mosquitoes. The host fly then unwittingly deposits the eggs into a bite wound while taking a blood meal. Ingenious mechanism, huh? A simple mosquito bite can transmit so many organisms: Plasmodium parasites, yellow fever virus, dengue virus, encephalitis viruses, microfilariae, and tissue infesting maggots.

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