• Users Online: 1345
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

   Table of Contents      
Year : 1990  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 187-188

Orbital myiasis-A case report

Dept. of Ophthalmology Medical College, Amritsar, India

Correspondence Address:
D C Agarwal
Dept. of Ophthalmology Medical College, Amritsar
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 2086474

Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

A case of basal cell carcinoma presenting in an unusual manner as orbital myiasis is reported. Orbit was full of maggots. Histopathology examination from the margin of the ulcerative area confirmed the diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma, which was infested secondarily with larvae of flies. Turpentine oil packs were used to remove the maggots.

How to cite this article:
Agarwal D C, Singh B. Orbital myiasis-A case report. Indian J Ophthalmol 1990;38:187-8

How to cite this URL:
Agarwal D C, Singh B. Orbital myiasis-A case report. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1990 [cited 2023 Nov 30];38:187-8. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?1990/38/4/187/25501

  Introduction Top

Invasion of the eye and orbit by larvae of flies is common in tropical countries and those with low standards of hygiene. Human ocular myiasis was first reported by Keyt [1] in 1900 and later on from India by Elliot [2] in 1910. The adult flies are not parasitic but their larvae may lay eggs by parthenogenesis which develop into future lar­vae and increase the destruction of tissues. The most common parasite affecting the eye and orbit is larva of hypoderma bovis which infests cattle. More rarely it may be infested by wohlphartia magnifica, callitroga macel­ laria and many other flies. [3]

The larvae can penetrate even the intact skin and con­juctival mucous membrane. Infestation occurs by con­taminated fingers of the patient after handling the infested cattle or the fly itself. Beneath the skin the larvae start eating the tissue and grow into large maggots. [4]

  Case report Top

The patient, a 70 year old female was admitted to the hospital on Oct. 13, 1988 with a bandage on her left eye. She complained of severe pain and bleeding from her left eye.


There was a brown, fleshy, ulcerated, foul smelling mass all around the left orbit [Figure - 1]. There were a large number of maggots crawling over the fleshy mass. Mag­gots were white and shiny. One end was blunt and the other sharp [Figure - 2]. Ocular structure were completely eaten up with total visual loss.

HISTOPATHOLOGY EXAMINATION Histopathological examination of the margin of the ul­cerated tissue was done. It was diagnosed as a case of basal cell carcinoma infested secondarily with larvae of flies.


The maggots which were crawling over the surface of the mass were removed manually. Turpentine oil pack­ing was applied. About 100 maggots were removed from the orbit.

Orbit was irrigated with potassium permanganate solu­tion to combat the foul smell. Sterile dressings were applied and systemic antiobiotics were given along with analgesics. After about an hour the patient was comfort­able and within two or three days the orbital wound began to heal.

  Discussion Top

Symptoms and signs were typical of the disease and there was no difficulty in diagnosis. Bleeding occured because of the extensive damage caused by larvae. With turpentine oil packing the maggots came out of the deeper tissues and thus could be removed easily. Radiotherapy was given to the patient for treatment of basal cell carcinoma. Because of the paucity of reports and a few rare features observed this case is reported.


A case of orbital myiasis is reported with tolet destruction of the eye and other orbital contents.

  References Top

Keyt. F.T. (1900). Quoted by: Sivaramasubramanyam P. Sadanand A.V. Opthalmomyiasis. Brit. J. Ophthal. 52:64, 1968.  Back to cited text no. 1
Elliot, R.H. (1910) Quoted by : Sivaramasubramanyam P, Sadanand A.V. : Opthalmomyiasis. Brit. J. Ophthal. 5264, 1968.  Back to cited text no. 2
Duke Elder S. (9174). "System of Ophthalmology", Vol. VIII. Part I, P 426. Henry Kimpton, London.  Back to cited text no. 3
Mathur S.P. Makhija J. M : Invasion of the orbit by maggots. Brit. J Ophthal. 51:406,1967.  Back to cited text no. 4


  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2]

This article has been cited by
1 Orbital myiasis complicating squamous cell carcinoma of eyelid
Yeung, J.C.C., Chung, C.F., Lai, J.S.M.
Hong Kong Medical Journal. 2010; 16(1): 63-65
2 Cutaneous manifestation of myiasis in malignant wounds of the head and neck
Sesterhenn, A.M., Pfützner, W., Braulke, D.M., Wiegand, S., Werner, J.A., Taubert, A.
European Journal of Dermatology. 2009; 19(1): 64-68
3 Palpebro-orbital myiasis in a patient with basal cell carcinoma
Abalo-Lojo, J.M., López-Valladares, M.J., Llovo, J., Garcia, A., Gonzalez, F.
European Journal of Ophthalmology. 2009; 19(4): 683-685
4 A case of cutaneous myiasis caused by Wohlfahrtia magnifica
Kokcam, I., Saki, G.E.
Journal of Dermatology. 2005; 32(6): 459-463
5 Use of oral ivermectin in a patient with destructive rhino-orbital myiasis [7]
Costa, D.C., de Tarso Ponte Pierre-Filho, P., Mac Cord Medina, F., Mota, R.G., Carrera, C.R.L.
Eye. 2005; 19(9): 1018-1020
6 Orbital myiasis in a patient with a chronically exposed hydroxyapatite implant
Devoto, M.H., Zaffaroni, M.C.
Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2004; 20(5): 395-396
7 Orbital myiasis: Case report
Çaça, I., Ünlü, K., Çakmak, S.S., Bilek, K., Şakalar, Y.B., Ünlü, G.
Japanese Journal of Ophthalmology. 2003; 47(4): 412-414
8 Larvicidal effect of mineral turpentine, low aromatic white spirits, aqueous extracts of Cassia alata, and aqueous extracts, ethanolic extracts and essential oil of betel leaf (Piper betle) on Chrysomya megacephala
Kumarasinghe, S.P.W., Karunaweera, N.D., Ihalamulla, R.L., Arambewela, L.S.R., Dissanayake, R.D.S.C.T.
International Journal of Dermatology. 2002; 41(12): 877-880


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
Case report
Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded0    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 8    

Recommend this journal