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Traumatic myiasis in farmed animals caused by Wohlfahrtia magnifica in southern Italy (Diptera: Sarcophagidae)

Teresa Bonacci, Giuseppe Curia, Roberto Leoncini, Daniel Whitmore
  • Giuseppe Curia
    Azienda Sanitaria Provinciale di Cosenza, Servizio Veterinario, Italy
  • Roberto Leoncini
    Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Mediche, Università di Siena, Italy
  • Daniel Whitmore
    Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom


Ten herds of sheep and goats (455 heads) were inspected for the presence of traumatic myiasis between May and September 2013 in the province of Cosenza, Calabria, southern Italy. Nine cases were discovered in sheep, goats and a sheepdog. Infested body sites included external genitalia, wounds (sheep and sheepdog) and hooves (goats). Larvae were removed from the infested body areas and reared to adult stage in the laboratory. Both the larvae and the adults were identified as belonging to the Mediterranean screwworm fly Wohlfahrtia magnifica (Schiner, 1862) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae), an obligatory parasite of humans and warm-blooded vertebrates. To our knowledge, these are the first cases of wohlfahrtiosis in sheep and goats to be reported from Calabria. The infested animals were living outdoors in spring and summer, and enclosed in sheds during the autumn and winter months. Observed effects of the myiases included severely impeded walking and tissue damage. Wohlfahrtiosis can cause significant economic loss to farmers. Data about the local distribution, seasonality and types of infestation caused by W. magnifica are useful to farmers and vets to improve control systems, in Calabria as elsewhere within the distributional range of the species


Calabria, farm animals, wohlfahrtiosis, Wohlfahrtia magnifica, Diptera, Sarcophagidae

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Submitted: 2017-06-29 14:07:02
Published: 2017-06-30 08:20:27
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