BACKGROUND: Myiasis, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is infection with fly larvae commonly occurring in tropical and subtropical areas. Whereas the presentation of skin infection with organisms such as Dermatobia hominis (human botfly) is more easily recognized in these regions, identification of myiasis in the United States is difficult due to its rarity. Due to unspecific signs and symptoms, myiasis may initially be mistaken for other conditions, like cellulitis.
CASE REPORT: This case details a patient with pain, swelling, drainage, and erythema of the right second toe. The patient recently returned from Belize and reported an insect bite to the area approximately 1 month prior. She had been seen by health care professionals twice prior to presenting to our Emergency Department (ED) due to increasing pain. At those visits, the patient was prescribed antibiotics, failing to improve her symptoms. In the ED, point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) of the soft tissue was performed and showed evidence of a foreign body consistent with cutaneous myiasis. Given the patient's history of travel to Belize and known insect bite, it is prudent to have an increased suspicion for cutaneous myiasis. WHY SHOULD AN EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN BE AWARE OF THIS?: To prevent a delay in diagnosis and unnecessary antibiotics, clinicians should have a high level of suspicion for botfly if a patient reports recent travel in an endemic region and pain disproportionate to an insect bite. POCUS contributes to a more efficient recognition of the disease.
Published In/Presented At
Mori MT, Paulson CL, Greenberg MR, Roth KR. Point-of-care ultrasound utilized for foreign body in a toe: A case report of botfly larvae. J Emerg Med. 2022 May 10:S0736-4679(22)00172-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2022.02.008. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35562247.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Emergency Medicine, USF-LVHN SELECT Program, Fellows and Residents