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NEWSLETTER 1 (February 2000)




Malariotherapy was used between 1917-1950 for the treatment of syphilis. In 1917, J.W. von Jauregg began inoculating paretics with blood from patients with benign tertian malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax. The elevated temperature of the body caused by the malaria parasite killed the temperature sensitive Treponema pallidum. Institutions for malariotherapy rapidly proliferated throughout Europe and the technique was also adopted in several centers in the USA. In this way, thousands of syphilitics were saved from a sure and agonizing death (Desowitz, 1991).


Balfour Sartor, an expert on inflammatory bowel disease at the University of North Carolina in Chapell Hill, is experimenting with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium gut bacteria, with the idea that they may have dampening effects on the immune system (New Scientists, August 76, 1999, http://www.newscientist.com)


We have heard several reports of patients with hyperkeratotic skin conditions, who travelled to Turkey, where their skin was successfully cleaned by fresh water fish. In the following link you will find some very interesting facts about "doctor fish" as they call it in Turkey: http://www.cumhuriyet.edu.tr/sivas/doctorfish/index.html


According to Gudger (1925), there are numerous references in early medical literature to the use of living black ants for closing incisions and small perforations in the intestines, as well as stiching extensive wounds. These references date back to Hindu writings as early as 1,000 B.C. and probably earlier. It was pointed out that ants belonging to the genus Atta and Camponotus (carpenter ants) and near relatives possess powerfull jaws, which are able to grasp objects with extraordinary firmness. To effect a suture, an individual ant is so placed that its jaws, which are widely open, close upon the edges of the skin and draw them firmly together. The head is then cut off, and the jaws remain firmly attached until the wound is healed. Gudger also refers to the similar use of beetles belonging to the family Carabidae. The genus Scarites is said to have been used for stitching wounds in Algeria, Turkey and in Europe.


Andrews, A., M. Jones & A. Champion. 1999. Larval therapy and wound management. Med. Microbiol. Autumn, 1999.

Church JCT. Biotherapy in modern medicine. Yorkshire Medicine. The Journal of Medical and Dental Education. 1998;10(2):23-24

Church JCT. Larva therapy in modern wound management. Directory of Community Nursing 1998; 38-41

Church JCT. Larva Therapy in the Management of Chronic Wounds. Geriatric Medicine. 1999, 29 (3):17-18.

Church JCT. Larva Therapy in Modern Wound Care: A Review. Primary Intention. The Australian Journal of Wound Management May 1999, 63-68

Courtenay M, Ryan TJ, Church JCT. Larva Therapy in Wound Management. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (JRSM) Feb.2000;93(2):72-74

Mumcuoglu, K.Y., A. Ingber, L. Gilead, J. Stessman, R. Friedman, H. Schulman, H. Bichucher, I. Ioffe-Uspensky, J. Miller, R. Galun & I. Raz. 1998. Maggot therapy for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Diabetes Care, 21: 2030-2031.

Mumcuoglu, K.Y., A. Ingber, L. Gilead, J. Stessman, R. Friedman, H. Schulman, H.Bichucher, I. Ioffe-Uspensky, J. Miller, R. Galun and I. Raz. 1999. Maggot therapy for the treatment of intractable wounds. Int. J. Dermatol. 8: 623-627.

Thomas S, Andrews A, Jones M, Church J. Maggots are useful in treating infected or necrotic wounds. BMJ 1999, 318: 807-808 (letter).


June 29-30, 2000 Fifth International Conference on Biotherapy, Wuerzburg, Germany

June 29-July 1, 2000 German Wound Healing Congress, Wuerzburg, Germany. For more information contact: peter.wassel@extern.uni-ulm.de

September 11 15, 2000 First World Wound Healing Congress, to be held in Melbourne Convention Centre, Victoria, Australia. For more details contact: vm2000@im.com.au


Detlev Goj reports from BioMonde Ltd., Hamburg, Germany: biomonde@t-online.ge

..Biosurgery has become extremely popular during this year in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Belgium since BioMonde introduced its services throughout this region in December 1998. The number of practitioners supplied by BioMonde with sterile maggots of Lucilia sericata has reached more than 700 and is increasing daily. The company moved now into a new building and intends to open new laboratories in Hamburg, Vienna, Basel and Llublijana"


In an article on maggot debridement therapy, which appeared in the ABC News (Science), http://abcnews.go.com/sections/science/MadRad/madrad990924.html (no more available) readers were asked whether nature has some creative solutions to medical woes, and therefore is maggot therapy a RAD (radical) therapy, or is maggot therapy both a nightmare and too much of a reality, i.e., it is a MAD medicine. Out of 3,385 people who answered, 73% wrote that it is a RAD therapy, 21% could not decide and 6% found it a MAD medicine.

Copyright 2007 Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
Last modified: 01/01/07