Merck Manual

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Professional Version

Dipterans that Produce Myiasis in Animals


Jan Šlapeta

, MVDr, PhD, GradCertEd (Higher Ed), Sydney School of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney

Reviewed/Revised Aug 2022 | Modified Oct 2022

Larval dipterans may develop in the subcutaneous tissues of the skin or organs of many domestic animals, producing a condition known as myiasis. There are two types of myiases based on extent of host dependence. In facultative myiasis Facultative Myiasis-producing Flies of Animals Facultative myiasis-producing flies of veterinary importance covered in other chapters include Gasterophilus spp in horses, Oestrus ovis in sheep, and Cuterebra spp in dogs... read more , the fly larvae are usually free-living; however, in certain circumstances, these larvae can adapt themselves to a parasitic dependence on a host. In obligatory myiasis Obligatory Myiasis-producing Flies of Animals Many dipteran flies produce larvae that must lead a parasitic existence and result in obligatory myiasis. Only one fly in North America, Cochliomyia hominivorax, is a primary invader... read more , the fly larvae are completely parasitic, ie, they depend on the host to complete the life cycle. Without the host, obligatory parasites will die.

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