Myiasis pathology

Author: Adjunct A/Prof Patrick Emanuel, Dermatopathologist, Clínica Ricardo Palma, Lima, Peru. DermNet NZ Editor in Chief: Adjunct A/Prof Amanda Oakley. Copy edited by Maria McGivern/Gus Mitchell. September 2018.


Myiasis is infestation by the larvae (maggots) of fly species within the arthropod order Diptera (the adult flies are two-winged).

Histology of myiasis

In myiasis, the histopathology shows the larva of the fly in the dermis or subcutis. There is a surrounding infiltrate (figures 1–3).

Myiasis pathology

Special studies for myiasis

None are generally needed.

Differential diagnosis for myiasis

Other conditions that should be considered include:

  • Ticks — these have legs and mouth
  • Tunga penetrans — look for a flea with legs; this almost always involves the feet.

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