Maggot Debridement Therapy

Ron Sherman's picture
Maggot Debridement Therapy

By Ronald A. Sherman, MD

The year 2019 began with a shadow over the field of biosurgery and a dark cloud over American health care: BioMonde, currently the largest producer of medicinal maggots in the world, just closed its American laboratory. Most famous for its dressing containing medicinal maggots within a net bag (BioBag™), BioMonde has been very profitable in Europe for years, where it operates two busy maggot-producing laboratories (in Wales and Germany). In 2014, with $5 million of dedicated investor funding, BioMonde opened a laboratory in Florida to serve the American market. Despite the popularity of their flagship product, BioMonde's US laboratory never turned a profit. Simply stated, sales were not high enough... but why?

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Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine's picture
Wound Care Journal Club Review

Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine Journal Review Club
Editor's note: This post is part of the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine (TUSPM) journal review club blog series. In each blog post, a TUSPM student will review a journal article relevant to wound management and related topics and provide their evaluation of the clinical research therein.

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Ron Sherman's picture
road blocks to maggot debridement therapy

By Ronald Sherman MD, MSC, DTM&H

Bob Hope and Bing Crosby starred in a series of films called "On the Road" in which the duo traveled around the globe, facing a variety of amusing obstacles and mishaps. Therapists and patients desiring maggot debridement therapy (MDT) for their non-healing wounds often face a variety of obstacles, too... though they may not seem quite as amusing. Let's consider some of these obstacles and examine ways to avoid or mitigate them.

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Ron Sherman's picture
determining when to use contained maggot therapy

By Ronald Sherman MD, MSC, DTM&H

In a previous post, we learned that all clinical studies to date and all but one laboratory study indicate that contained ("bagged") maggots are effective in wound debridement, but less so than "free-range" (or "non-bagged") larvae. Why, then, are they used? What are the attributes of contained maggots that make them worth sacrificing the efficacy and efficiency of conventional "free-range" maggots?

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Ron Sherman's picture
Clinical Research

By Ron Sherman MD, MSC, DTM&H

In my previous post on maggot therapy, we discussed the differences between confinement and containment maggot therapy dressings. This post will examine the studies that address differences in efficacy and efficiency between these two methods of maggot therapy. The majority of contained maggot studies use a specific brand of containment bag (Biobag™ or VitaPad™ by Biomonde) because those products – if not the very act of applying maggots to the wound within a bag – were patented 14 years ago by Wim Fleischmann.1 While numerous individual therapists have applied maggots to wounds by first placing them into bags of their own making, or into commercially available net bags, no company can legally sell contained maggot dressings in any country where the patent was filed. Therefore, the majority of formal studies have used the Biomonde products

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Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine's picture

By Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine Journal Review Club

Editor's note: This post is part of the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine (TUSPM) journal review club blog series. In each blog post, a TUSPM student will review a journal article relevant to wound management and related topics and provide their evaluation of the clinical research therein.

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Ron Sherman's picture
Leflap maggot dressing in action

By Ron Sherman MD, MSC, DTM&H

I have been avoiding the topic of addressing the differences between contained (bagged) versus confined (non-bagged or "free-range") maggot therapy because I haven't wanted to take a position in affairs that affect specific companies' products. In addition, I have a conflict of interest in that I run a laboratory that produces one type of dressing and not the other. Nevertheless, I have been dragged involuntarily into this conversation by the hoards of people who ask me about the data and information surrounding the application of maggots in containment bags. Indeed, I may even have an obligation to share my thoughts, given my role in the maggot therapy movement, and given that I have experience in testing and using both techniques. So with that understanding, let's begin by exploring the maggot dressing options currently available. The terminology can be a bit confusing so we should begin there.

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Laurie Swezey's picture
wound care 101 - wound debridement

By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

There are four main types of debridement: mechanical, autolytic, enzymatic, and surgical. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at each method individually:

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Aletha Tippett MD's picture
Maggots

By Aletha Tippett MD

Recently I had a discussion with several other physicians and a topic that came up was why maggots were not more widely received. I was not aware that maggots were not widely received since I have used them regularly for 15 years. So, the question is, why not use maggots?

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By Deboshree Roy, MSC and Ron Sherman MD, MSC, DTM&H

Most wound care therapists are well acquainted with the benefits of maggot debridement therapy (MDT) by now, but may not be as informed about its adverse events. As an intern with the BTER Foundation, one of my projects was to review records of adverse events and potential complications by examining data from published studies, regulatory documents, and the quality control files shared by one producer of medicinal maggots, Monarch Labs (Irvine, California). Now nearing the end of my 6-month study, who better to share my discoveries with than the wound care experts that visit the WoundSource blog?

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