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Larval Therapy and Larval Excretions/Secretions: A Potential Treatment for Biofilm in Chronic Wounds? A Systematic Review

Daniel Morris, Micah Flores Orcid Logo, Llinos Harris Orcid Logo, John Gammon Orcid Logo, Yamni Nigam

Microorganisms, Volume: 11, Issue: 2, Start page: 457

Swansea University Authors: Llinos Harris Orcid Logo, John Gammon Orcid Logo, Yamni Nigam

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Abstract

Chronic wounds present a global healthcare challenge and are increasing in prevalence, with bacterial biofilms being the primary roadblock to healing in most cases. A systematic review of the to-date knowledge on larval therapy’s interaction with chronic-wound biofilm is presented here. The findings...

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Published in: Microorganisms
ISSN: 2076-2607
Published: MDPI AG 2023
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa62718
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Abstract: Chronic wounds present a global healthcare challenge and are increasing in prevalence, with bacterial biofilms being the primary roadblock to healing in most cases. A systematic review of the to-date knowledge on larval therapy’s interaction with chronic-wound biofilm is presented here. The findings detail how larval therapy—the controlled application of necrophagous blowfly larvae—acts on biofilms produced by chronic-wound-relevant bacteria through their principle pharmacological mode of action: the secretion and excretion of biologically active substances into the wound bed. A total of 12 inclusion-criteria-meeting publications were identified following the application of a PRISMA-guided methodology for a systematic review. The findings of these publications were qualitatively analyzed to provide a summary of the prevailing understanding of larval therapy’s effects on bacterial biofilm. A further review assessed the quality of the existing evidence to identify knowledge gaps and suggest ways these may be bridged. In summary, larval therapy has a seemingly unarguable ability to inhibit and degrade bacterial biofilms associated with impaired wound healing. However, further research is needed to clarify and standardize the methodological approach in this area of investigation. Such research may lead to the clinical application of larval therapy or derivative treatments for the management of chronic-wound biofilms and improve patient healing outcomes at a time when alternative therapies are desperately needed.
Keywords: chronic wound; biofilm; larval therapy; wound healing; Staphylococcus aureus; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Lucilia sericata; maggot therapy
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Funders: This research was undertaken as part of a PhD research program at Swansea University sponsored by BioMonde.
Issue: 2
Start Page: 457