A systematic review of efficacy on larva debridement in diabetic foot ulcers

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Larva therapy, also known as maggot therapy, biodebridement, or maggot debridement therapy, involved the application of live fly larva to a patient’s wound for debridement, disinfection, and wound healing. Despite its wide application in diabetic foot ulcers, the efficacy of this intervention remains uncertain. This review aimed to examine the benefits of larva therapy in diabetic foot ulcers by conducting systematic review. This systematic review sought relevant articles using MeSH-based keywords in databases such as Scopus, PubMed, Science Direct, and ProQuest. The inclusion criteria for the articles were as follows: population-patients with diabetic foot ulcers, intervention-the use of debridement or therapeutic application of maggot therapy with Lucilia sericata, comparison-none, outcome-the results of arti cles demonstrating the effectiveness of using Lucilia sericata maggot therapy on diabetic foot ulcers. Article quality assessment was conducted using the Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines. Descriptive analysis was performed with a narrative approach, considering articles published from 2018 to 2023. Based on the literature search, 237 articles were found with matching keywords from Scopus (103), PubMed (77), Science Direct (14), and ProQuest (43). After screening for inclusion and exclusion criteria, 11 articles were identified for inclusion in this review. These 11 articles indicate that larva therapy can be an effective method in treating diabetic foot ulcers, especially when used correctly and tailored to each patient’s condition and needs. Green bottle fly larva, Lucilia sericata, produce proteolytic enzymes that can assist in wound healing. Larva therapy is effective when combined with other procedures. In clinical practice, it is highly recommended that nurses provide an individualized approach and assess potential side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11839
JournalHealthcare in Low-Resource Settings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • debridement
  • diabetic foot
  • larva therapy


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