Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 1981  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 199--200

Ocular myiasis caused by oestrus ovis

DB Chandra, TN Agrawal 
 State Institute of Ophthalmology, M.L.N. Medical College, Allahabad, India

Correspondence Address:
D B Chandra
State Institute of Ophthalmology, M.L.N. Medical College, Allahabad

How to cite this article:
Chandra D B, Agrawal T N. Ocular myiasis caused by oestrus ovis.Indian J Ophthalmol 1981;29:199-200

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Chandra D B, Agrawal T N. Ocular myiasis caused by oestrus ovis. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1981 [cited 2022 Jul 6 ];29:199-200
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Infection and infestation by insect larvae is common in tropical regions. Among arthro­pods, flies commonly invade conjunctival sac (Myiasis). Of the flies which cause conjunc­tival disease belong to muscid, sarcophacoidae and oesteriodae groups.

The first case of ocular myiasis from India was reported by Eliot[1] (1901). Subsequently other cases were reported[2],[3],[4]. In all these cases of myiasis, orbital destruction was pre­sent. Iarval conjuctivitis without any destruc­tion has been reported by Daljit Singh et all by musace domestica.

The present paper constitutes the details of a clinical case of ocular myiasis by larvae of oesttus ovis without any orbital destruction.


A Hindu Male aged about 35 years, tea vendor attended casualty department com­plaining of pain, lacrimation and foreign body sensation in his right eye. He further stated. "I removed that looked to me like small worms which crawled on my fingers after removing."

On Examination :- Conjuctiva was inflamed and oedematous and several larvae, a few of them were adherent to upper fornix while the rest were crawling on conjunctiva of the upper lid. The larvae were rather adherent to the conjunctive and it was difficult to remove them until 4% anathaine was instilled.

larvae :- The larvae were white and about 1 mm. long with dark coloration at the head. Larvae were identified as the first inster of oestrus ovis (Sheep nasal bot fly).

Treatment:- The eye was thoroughly irriga­ted with normal saline and the patient was advised to instil Terramycin Ophthalmic Susp­ension four times a day. There was complete recovery from conjunctival congestion and chemosis within 36 hours.


Orbital myiasis may assume clinical pictures of varying severity from mild irritation to destructions of the orbit. In mil­der case larvae deposit in the conjunctival sac, set up a larval conjunctivitis. When maggots are present in significant numbers in a neglec­ted person, more serious consequences like corneal ulcer and intraocular invasion may ensue. The incidence of larval infestation is favoured by an abundance of insects found in the locality. The present case was due to poor hygiene, ignorance and low socio-economic features.

The treatment should be directed to the killing and removal of the larvae. Earlier recommendations postulated Choloroform water or 50% carbolic solution or an emulsion of choloroform and turpentine in a watery solution of boric acid combined with irrigation of KM n O 4 . However, in our case the patient fully recovered within 36 hours of removal of the larvae with saline irrigation of the eye followed by antibiotic oily suspension instilla­tions four times a day. Prompt treatment is advised in order to prevent serious complica­tions e.g. intra-ocular invasion.


A case of oestrus ovis infestation of the conjunctival sac occurring in our region is reported. Prompt treatment i.e. removal of larvae with saline irrigation of the eye followed by antibiotic oily suspension instillation four times a day is recommended to prevent serious complications.


We are grateful to Dr. A.K. Bandyo­padhyay of the School of Tropical Medicine, Calcutta, who kindly identified the larvae.[5]


1Elliot, R.H., 1968, Quoted by Sivaramasubrama­niam and Sadanand, Brit. J. Ophthalmol 52: 64.
2Gupta, S.K. and Nema, H.U., 1970, J. of laryngology and Otology, 84 : 453.
3Mathur, S.P. and Makhija, J.M., 1967, Brit. J. Ophthalmol 51 : 406
4Shivaramasubaramaniam, P. and Sadanand, 1968 Brit. J. Ophthalmol 52 : 64.
5Singh, D., Bajaj, A. and Singh, M., 1978, Ind. J. Ophthalmol 26 : 51.