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n. (context medicine English) The infestation of a living vertebrate by maggots.

  1. n. infestation of the body by the larvae of flies (usually through a wound or other opening) or any disease resulting from such infestation

  2. [also: myiases (pl)]


Myiasis ( or ) is the parasitic infestation of the body of a live mammal by fly larvae ( maggots) that grow inside the host while feeding on its tissue. Although flies are most commonly attracted to open wounds and urine- or feces-soaked fur, some species (including the most common myiatic flies, the botfly, blowfly and screwfly) can create an infestation even on unbroken skin and have been known to use moist soil and non-myiatic flies (such as the common housefly) as vector agents for their parasitic larvae.

Colloquialisms for myiasis include flystrike and blowfly strike, and the victim or the tissue may be described as fly-blown. The name of the condition derives from ancient Greek μυῖα (myia), meaning "fly".

Because some animals (particularly domestic animals) cannot react as effectively as humans to the causes and effects of myiasis, such infestations present a severe and continuing problem for livestock industries worldwide, causing severe economic losses where they are not mitigated by human action. Although typically a far greater issue for animals, myiasis is also a relatively frequent affliction of humans in rural tropical regions where myiatic flies thrive, and often may require medical attention to surgically remove the parasites.

Myiasis varies widely in the forms it takes and its effects on the victims. Such variations depend largely on the fly species and where the larvae are located. Some flies lay eggs in open wounds, other larvae may invade unbroken skin or enter the body through the nose or ears, and still others may be swallowed if the eggs are deposited on the lips or on food.