Saturday, November 14, 2015

Answer to Case 372

Answer: Musca domestica (common housefly) larva

Unlike obligate parasites such as Dermatobia hominis, Musca domestica is a cause of accidental myiasis. While M. domestica larvae are usually found in nutrient rich organic material such as compost and manure, they can occasionally infest human tissues. The adult flies can also serve as a mechanical vector for infectious agents including bacteria, viruses and parasites.

The CDC has an excellent online reference for identifying medically important flies that you can access HERE. As you can see from the identification key, fly larvae are identified by a number of features including their overall shape and characteristics of their posterior spiracles. The line drawing of the M. domestica spiracles is shown below, next to the photograph from this case for this comparison.

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