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Maggots curing MRSA

4th May 2007

Diabetic patients with the MRSA superbug are being treated with maggots by researchers from the University of Manchester.

Green bottle fly larvae were used to treat MRSA-infected foot ulcers of 13 diabetic patients, 12 of whom were successfully cured.

The maggots were applied between two and eight times for four days at a time.

The maggots also worked faster than conventional cures, at here weeks, rather than the conventional four weeks the current treatment takes.

No adverse side effects were recorded from the use of maggots.

Professor Andrew Boulton said: "Maggots are the world's smallest surgeons. In fact, they are better than surgeons, they are much cheaper and work 24 hours a day.

"They have been used since the Napoleonic Wars and un the American Civil War they found that those who survived were the ones with maggots in their wounds: they kept them clean.

"They remove the dead tissue and bacteria, leaving the healthy tissue to heal.

"Still we were very surprised to see such a good result for MRSA. There is no reason this cannot be applied to many other areas of the body except perhaps a large abdominal wound."

According to Professor Boulton, maggots have demonstrated their potential as the first non-invasive and risk-free treatment for MRSA in foot ulcers.