Maggot debridement therapy (MDT) is an approved treatment that is shown to be cost-effective for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Did you know that there has been more research to work out how to maximise the use of modified maggots to actually stimulate the growth of new, healthy cells! It has also been used successfully to treat many other medical conditions, note the researchers, who write about their work in the journal BMC Biotechnology.
“In MDT, sterile, lab-raised larvae of the green bottle fly Lucilia sericata are applied to stubborn wounds that are failing to heal, such as diabetic foot ulcers. The maggots clean the wound by removing dead tissue and disinfecting the area through the release of antimicrobial compounds.”
A research team from North Carolina State University and Massey University in New Zealand – decided to see if they could make a strain of maggot that releases a human growth factor that actively stimulates cell growth and survival. The researchers genetically engineered green bottle fly larvae to produce and secrete human platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) in response to a trigger. PDGF-BB stimulates cell growth and survival, promotes wound healing and has been investigated as a possible topical treatment for non-healing wounds,
The engineered maggots only made PDGF-BB if raised on a diet that lacked the antibiotic tetracycline. The insects produced high levels of the growth factor, and it was also present in their excretions and secretions..
Prof. Scott one of the researchers noted” We see this as a proof-of-principle study for the future development of engineered L. sericata strains that express a variety of growth factors and antimicrobial peptides with the long-term aim of developing a cost-effective means for wound treatment that could save people from amputation and other harmful effects of diabetes.”
The Nurses for Nurses Network has a great range of Nursing Education and Nursing activities related to wound care . The sessions are focused on Nurses who need to know about managing wound care in the ‘real world’ where Nurses are often time poor and resource limited!