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Healing Power of Maggots

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Broadcast Date: Thursday 27 July 2006, 12:15-12:30 GMT
Summary: Maggots and Wound Healing

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 Synopsis

Maggots!  It was during the Napoleonic wars that battlefield surgeons first observed that soldiers, whose wounds were infested with maggots, were healing faster and with less related fever than those whose wounds were relatively clean

For a number of years now, specially-bred “sterile” maggots have been used as a remedy in UK hospitals. They are particularly useful where wounds would otherwise heal with difficulty, like in diabetic ulcers, or where there is a venous insufficiency - a lack of blood-flow to the wound.  

At the University of Nottingham, a research team led by Professor David Pritchard is investigating this phenomenon and has just received a further two years’ worth of funding from the government to develop this research.

By studying specially-bred sterile maggots of the Greenbottle variety, rather than the more common Bluebottle, the research team began to identify the biological factors at work. Through close examination of the action of the fluid secreted by the maggots on human fibroblasts, a key cell in the healing process, they discovered that the healing process was considerably accelerated compared to fibroblasts without enzymes.

Further studies have enabled them to identify two enzymes in particular which can accelerate healing and they are now looking at ways to either use them in active dressings or create a synthetic version of the enzymes which could be used clinically in wound dressings in the future. 

Footage:
- University of Nottingham
- Lab shots, various tests etc
- Sterile maggots
- Ordinary maggots
- Light box with gels showing enzyme action
- Time-lapse sequence of accelerated fibroblast activity

Interviewees:
- Professor David Pritchard, University of Nottingham            

Duration: approx. 04:30 (loose news edit)

 Further Resources
 General Information

ALL STORIES ARE AVAILABLE TO ALL APTN SUBSCRIBERS ON THURSDAY 27 JULY 12:15 TO 12:30 GMT. AVAILABLE FOR GENERAL VIEWING FROM 16:00 GMT ON THURSDAY 27 JULY. ALL SCRIPT INFORMATION AND VIDEO PREVIEWS ON WWW.RESEARCH-TV.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL RESEARCH-TV ON: 44 (0) 207 004 7130.

Page contact: Tracy Playle Last revised: Thu 27 Jul 2006
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