Dermatobia hominis - Wikipedia
Dermatobia hominis is a fly endemic to and widely distributed throughout the Americas; it is human botfly, berne, tórsalo, mountain worm, maggot, miruta, mucha, colmoyote, moyocuil, mosquito worm, ura, and suglacuru. . Thus, this marker is useful for classifying species but not determining phylogenetic relationships. The human botfly, Dermatobia hominis is one of several species of flies, the larvae of which parasitise humans (in addition to a wide range of other animals, including other primates). It is also known as the torsalo or American warble fly, though the warble fly is Either the eggs hatch while the mosquito is feeding and the larvae use the. The Torsalo (or "human bot fly") is a member of the family Oestridae. But female torsalos overcome this problem by catching smaller flies (like mosquitoes) and gluing The relationship between the torsalo and the fly that delivers its eggs is.
Then to our surprise, a friend of ours who is a surgeon showed up. He immediately took out a syringe to aspirate the bump to see if there was any infection and of course there wasn't any. They concluded that these two factors, no discharge or tenderness, indicated that there was no infection. We discussed the literature we had brought with us, the doctors consulted a medical journal and then said they thought we had correctly diagnosed it.
I had also brought some literature from a physicain in Canada who wrote on his experience with the botfly and how he had surgically removed the larva. Surgeon takes me into the O. He fished around for a period of time and I was getting concerned that maybe we hadn't correctly diagnosed it when he suddenly said "my God - you were right!!
He continued to root around for a period of time to make sure Fred as we christened him wasn't a twin and didn't have any roommates or that we hadn't left part of Fred behind!! Fortunately there were no more and I was stitiched up with 2 stitches located just to the side of my eye. I had a good look at the little guy - who was still moving - and he was identical to the picutres on the websites - white, with 3 stripes that are actually spiny hooks, what looked to be a tail but what we think might have been the breathing tube and 2 little pincers at the front of him.
My God, I can't believe it was in me!! I felt immediate relief, both physically and mentally, the swelling around me eye immediately started to subside as did the inflammation.
There is some swelling from the surgery but less than there was with the botfly and the pain and discomfort is gone, with the exception of the incision. And I am none the worse for the wear. SO the question everyone keeps asking - would I go to Belize again?? The chances of this happening appear to be slim, no one else I know who was there had any bites, so I'd certainly take the chance again.
Annette Thank you for sharing Mark's botfly experience: If only I'd known of your website sooner I might have saved myself weeks of medical mystery. It was only after the my little companion was determined to be a botfly larvae that I talked to my sister Abi who has spent a lot of time traveling in the remote regions of Central and South America. She was quite familiar with bot flies and turned me on to your website.
So here's my story. We were a few days at Arenal and vicintiy and a few days on the beaches of the Pacific coast. Arenal volcano was spectacular and our guide kept reiterating how fortunate we were to see it; for most of the time it is hidden in the clouds. About three weeks after we got home [Boston area] from a relaxing week of hiking, exploring, and lounging on the beach I noticed a sore on the shin of my right leg.
I had no idea how it got there; no recollection of scrapes or bruises. It was itchy and looked a bit like a bug bite that has been scratched. The surrounding area was red. I didn't think much of it at the time, but two weeks later when it still hadn't healed and was clearly infected I started getting concerned and went to see a dermatologist.
He prescribed an antibiotic cream and antibiotic pills. I delayed taking the antibiotic pills because of a concern about drug interactions with the immunosuppressant medications I am as the result of a kidney transplant two years ago.
It took me nearly a week to reach the doctor again to get clarification about the safety of his presciption. All this time the sore was getting worse and oozing almost constantly.
In addition to the itching that I had at the beginning, I had throughout occasional sharp stinging pains usually of only a second or two duration. On the night of January 3rd the pains were frequent and intense keeping me awake for a good part of the night. By noon the next day, Saturday Jan. The doctors there, knowing that I was a transplant patient on immunosuppressant drugs, took one look at me and said I needed to stay in the hospital and be on intravenous antibiotics to clear up what they called cellulitis.
I spent five days there on the IV with my legs elevated as much as I could tolerate. After the five days they sent me home with a PICC line in my arm and automated infusion pump for another week of IV antibiotics. The nasty looking sore on my leg was clearing up, but I still had a quarter inch diameter crater on my leg to which each day I applied a dab of Bacitracin and a bandage.
You can only imagine my surprise when on last Thursday morning [Jan 16] I removed the bandage to find a worm crawling out of the hole in my leg. My wife was totally grossed out and swore she'd never go to a tropical country again. As I was getting ready to go to the hospital to have it removed, it fell out. I put it - still very alive and wiggling- in a small jar to take to my doctor.
The doctor at first thought that it was a hookworm, but sent it out for analysis which determined that it was a botfly larvae. The botfly is found throughout Central and South American.
Part of its reproductive cycle requires living in the body of a warm blooded host [me]. The female [not wanting to take responsibility for its actions] lays its eggs on the belly of mosquitos and other biting insects. When the mosquito bites a person, the person's body heat is enough to cause a tiny larvae to hatch from one of the eggs. The larvae then burroughs into the body, leaving itself an air hole so that it can breath [and I can ooze]. After weeks if left undisturbed the full grown larvae emerges in order to pupate and become a botfly and begin the life cycle all over again.
So, not only had I brought home from Costa Rica a souvenir I was unaware of, but in the process I got an unplanned for lesson in entomology. Nathan Bernie Krause on the Botfly Though he says he has learned to coexist with animals, tiny bugs are a whole different matter.
It lays eggs on the legs of a mosquito when it's in flight. Then, when a mosquito bites you, the eggs get deposited in the hole where you were bitten, and then the larva grows and rotates under your skin.
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I said, "This thing is really hurting me, can you help me get rid of it? I took doses and doses, and nothing changed. I told them that I had gotten something from Costa Rica, and I had to go home and go to the doctor. I went to a plastic surgeon in San Francisco, the one who had said it was a cyst, and I said, "Fred, I don't care, I've got to get this off.
And he damn near passed out. He couldn't believe I had this thing in my head. That's why it was hurting.
I came home with 8 in my back From Belize, by a lake out of which 7 were extracted by following the traditional method of "airtight" goop suffocation followed be popping them out. My boyfriend became excellent at it, bless his heart, and was trying to let the doctors know as they insisted on digging for the last one themselves.
Now I have a nice size scar on my back. Not to mention, the last bot fly All in all it's a good drinking story. Krisztina For the last six weeks, after a trip to Belize etc, I have had a Botfly larva in my scalp at the back of my head I couldn't see it but I could feel it, as no doubt you can imagine! I went through four doctors in as many weeks and lots of antibiotics and tests before eventually meeting one who recognised the problem instantly. It's always reassuring to know that someone else has survived a much more gruelling ordeal!
Botty was removed surgically today. He didn't want to leave and hung on grimly until the resourceful doc gave him a mouthful of saline solution through a syringe. We went by boat from San Pedroacross sea and through a mangrove swamp to Bombathen bus overland to Lamanai River and upriver by another boat.
I'm pretty sure I was bitten by something resembling a horsefly when our boat stopped briefly in the mangrove swamp. I hope that's enough to identify the place. I don't have Marty Cassado's address, but maybe you can pass this on to him. We enjoyed our stay at Cha Creek Cottages near San Ignatio lots of trips and other adventures, excellent service etc and of course over the border at Tikal.
Lamanai was also good, even if getting there carries an infestation risk! Ambergris is a great place for snorkeling Further up the coast in Mexico are also many good caves and lagoons for snorkeling. I hope you have a great holiday. Robbie Graham I have observed how the vet took it out of one of my dogs and thereafter developed my own technique - dunno if I would do it on myself or another human - but at least no drugs of any kind of any kind are involved.
You get a nice fat sewing needle - usually the biggest from the needle kits you buy in the stores for a couple of bucks. I sit down flat on the ground, one leg over the dog's body and the other squarly on his jaw to immobilise him. With one hand I squeeze just under where the wormy bastard is and apply firm, relentless pressure as if I am trying to pop him out of the vent hole.
This will force the tip of the alien invader out of the vent hole where I spear him with gusto his hide is almost leathery then I pull out and squash.
The vet doesn't bother with the needle he just mercilessly pops him out after muzzling Fido. After spending 10 days in the jungles of Belize, I returned home with two 'bites' on my butt.
Thinking they were spider bites I left them alone only to have them get bigger and painful. About 4 weeks after getting back from Belize I went to see a doctor. He didn't really know what they were, but suggested soaking them in warm water with epsom salt. Well, I soaked in a tub of very hot water about as hot as could stand with Epsom salt for 45 minutes before I went to bed.
Both bite areas had the dead larvae sticking out and both were thus very easy to express. I was too shocked and fascinated to be disgusted. I guess the combination of being soaked under water that was also very hot killed them.
Just thought this may interest your readers as another possible way to get rid of them. Loved your web site. Thanks, David Rick and I want to thank you for your Botfly story. We returned from Belize November While in Belize, we had hiked in the jungle on two separate occasions. While I had used insect repellent in my hair and scalp, Rick did not. About a week after we returned from Belize to Columbus, Ohio, Rick noticed bumps in his scalp that later began to itch.
Then they started seeping. Then came the stabbing pain. By the time we thought he should do something about it, it was Thanksgiving weekend and impossible to see a doctor.
So we called a pharmacist friend who said we should alternate cortisone cream with antibiotic cream. I also used a "bite stick" with ammonia in it on the "bites. On Monday, December 2, Rick went to his doctor, who diagnosed a bacterial skin infection, prescribing oral and topical antiobiotics. By December 6 there was no improvement, and the pain would come at any time with not warning and be excruciating.
I couldn't stand it any longer. I started searching on the internet. I used terms like "bleeding scalp" and found lots about head wounds.
Human Botfly: A Case Report and Overview of Differential Diagnosis
The next day I was going to go Christmas shopping, but I couldn't stand to see Rick in pain and with no improvement, so more internet searching supplanted the shopping I made up for it by shopping on the web later. At the Center for Disease Control site, I started looking at different types of insects, came across the botfly and performed another search: I read it, printed it out in full color and took the papers in to Rick.
First we tried meat taped onto his head shaved portions of his head first using painters tape and covered by a hat. When we removed the meat, we could find small bore holes in the meat but no larva. It was great calling him "meathead" all weekend. Then we moved on to Elmer's school glue. Seemed those little buggers could "eat" through the dried glue and breathe all the same. By Monday December 9, Rick had faxed your article to his doctor, who said to try superglue.
This did the trick. We had been afraid to kill the suckers while still imbedded in the skin. Seems that superglue works because it dries so fast, and you can glob it on. When we peeled back the superglue, part of the larva was sticking out of the skin must have been trying to get air and got caught. The dead larva could be pulled out by the part sticking out using a kleenex when grasping itbut the surest way to get them out was to squeeze them out a couple of times they shot 2 feet into the air which meant I jumped about 2 feet myself.
One time, when one was pulled out, only half of it came out, with the remainder having to be squeezed out. I got all out but one, covered it with antibacterial cream and watched it with a light and magnifying glass. Sure enough, the cream was showing a bubble. These babies definitely won't squeeze out if still alive. One more application of superglue did it, and the next morning, the last one jumped out to greet the day with an easy sqeeze.
Just thought you'd want to know about the superglue treatment. Definitely the most effective and efficient. Turns out Rick had 5 botfly larvae in his scalp. We dropped them into a half-full miniature bottle of Jack Daniels kind of like the worm in the Tequila and sent them off to his doctor who definitely wanted to examine them.
human bot fly - Dermatobia hominis Linnaeus, Jr.)
All the while I cared for Rick and the botfliesI kept saying that part of the wedding vow to myself, "In sickness and in health. Now, I will never doubt him when he says he is in pain. Who knows how long it would have taken to get a correct diagnosis in Columbus, Ohio? We are grateful to you. Jennifer and Rick Brunner P.
When a buddy of Rick's heard about his botflies, he e-mailed Rick saying, "You know I always thought your wife looked like Sigourney Weaver, but don't you think you're taking this alien thing a little too far? Several parts of this story and the photos are from Brenda Johnstone, http: Much thanks to her for her information and her permission for us to use it.
Here's a recent question and answer Hi, I've read your stories about botflies. My son studying for a semester in Belize and has a botfly. He does not want it removed yet because he finds it interesting. What can I say? My question is, what are the side effects for him, long term, short term? I'm very concerned and obviously if he were home I would insist he have it removed. Here's a response from a medical person There is no need for medications.
Moffett is the only human male to have given birth -- watch the video for proof! This amazing video is excellent mealtime viewing, so sit down at your desk, pull out that sandwich and get ready for a fascinating story about biodiversity!
The maggot took ten weeks to grow to "maturity," surviving Mark's subsequent trips to Honduras, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. It finally emerged on 2 Decemberat the end of a meeting with ant expert and environmentalist E.
Nightmare for one family member Two weeks after returning from an otherwise wonderful vacation, he begins to develop a degree fever which lasts for two weeks.
He experiences random bleeding from three small, infected wounds on his left elbow. He sees four different internists and after two rounds of antibiotics is still suffering from the symptoms. It turns out that he had three bot fly larvae growing in his arm. This video shows the removal of the larvae.
Bot flies Order Diptera, Family Cuterebridae are large, stout bodied, hairy flies that resemble bumblebees. The botfly egg is deposited by a mosquito or sometimes by another insect. The larva grows in the host's body until it is fairly large. The botfly larva can easily be killed by taking away its air supply -- by putting vaseline or similar on the skin where the lump is, but then you still have to extract the larva. Adult botflies have nonfunctional mouthparts and do not feed.
Larvae of this species parasitize wild and domestic rabbits. Females deposit their eggs in or near the entrance of their host's burrow. Bot fly larvae penetrate their host through the skin or natural body openings after hatching.
The larvae form a tumor called a warble in the subdermal zones of their host and remain at this location until larval development is complete. Larval development varies among species, ranging from 20 to 60 days.
Before pupating, the larvae leave the host's skin and drop to the soil. The Human Bot Fly Raising two dipteran children was an interesting experience. But other than those minor discomforts it was really not a big deal. Perhaps my opinion would have been different had the bot flies decided to develop in my eyelids, but I actually grew to like my little guests, and watched their growth with the same mix of pleasure and apprehension as when I watch the development of any other interesting organism under my care.
Having two bot fly larvae embedded in my skin have also made me ponder once again the perplexing element of the human psyche that makes us abhor parasites but revere predators. Why is it that an animal that is actively trying to kill us, such as a lion, gets more respect than one that is only trying to nibble on us a little, without causing much harm? They are brave, or so we think. This, of course, is a very naive and anthropomorphic interpretation of nature. To a lion we are nothing more than a one-time meal.
I am saying this to prepare you for a short video that I made about my experience of raising a bot fly. It is simply a documentation of an interesting organism, who happens to develop in the skin of large mammals. But please be forewarned that this video includes a few sequences that some viewers may find disturbing. The botfly larvae One of the really cool things about a botfly is that it lays its eggs on a mosquito and the eggs hatch when the mosquito feeds on a host.
Do humans get warbles? Yes, are you disgusted yet? While the maggot feeds on its host you or one of your pets it has to have a hole in the skin so it can continue to breath.
It takes about 6 weeks to complete development on its host. If you treat kill it when the worm is small, your body will absorb it. If it has developed when treated, it will die and you can squeeze it out a day or two after the hooks have relaxed.
Tiger Balm can be found in Belize at most stores- I would recommend just dabbing a bit over any fly bite you receive. Generally that eliminates the itch, etc. And if you are fortunate enough to be a host - enjoy the science lesson! Not up to that? Locate the breathing hole and cover it with a little tobacco or heavily camphorated oil soaked cotton - tape over vent hole - the worm comes out - 12 hours later pull off the tape - voila - one grub, maybe two or three-- no infection -- everything ok!
Source of botfly worm? Dermatobia hominis survives in its host by breathing through spiracles that are flush with the skin. In order to coax the larva out, the spiracles need to be covered.
They can be covered with bacon, petroleum jelly, beeswax, or any other thick substance that prevents the larvae from breathing. The larvae will come up out of the lesion to breathe allowing it to be removed with forceps.
In some cases the larva maybe popped out by applying pressure around the wound. There may be some difficulty with this method due to the spines that anchor the larvae in the wound. Several authors Diaz et al. This creates pressure that pushes the larva out. After any of these procedures, antibiotics are given to prevent infection. The wound should heal in one to two weeks with little or no scarring. Management Back to Top Due to the increase in travelers to Central and South America, it is important to carefully monitor and control the vector population.
Additionally, travelers to these regions need to take preventive measures, including applying insect repellent and wearing protective clothing Diaz et al.
Zoonoses and communicable disease common to man and animals. Pan American Health Organization. Tracheopulmonary myiasis caused by a mature third-instar Cuterebra larva: Journal Clinical Microbiology The epidemiology, diagnosis, management, and prevention of ectoparasitic diseases in travelers.
Journal of Travel Medicine Morphology of the antenna of Dermatobia hominis Diptera: Cuterebridae based on scanning electron microscope. Journal of Medical Entomology Scanning electron microscopy studies of sensilla and other structures of adult Dermatobia hominis L. Myiasis with Dermatobia hominis in a traveler returning from Costa Rica: Review of 33 cases imported from South America to Japan. Myiasis secondary to Dermatobia hominis Human Botfly presenting as a long-standing breast mass. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Lawson RD, Rizzo M.
Digital infestation with the human bot fly. Journal of Hand Surgery 30B: Lang T, Smith DS. Clinical Infectious Diseases Human botfly larva in a child's scalp. Journal of Pediatric Surgery Maier H, Honigsmann H.