The UK government is funding international war zones to use worms to help clean infected wounds.
In countries that do not have medical supplies and trained personnel, the terrifying crawlies could be a "life saver" by cleaning up dead tissue and disinfecting cuts.
Worms have been used since the American Civil War to prevent gangrene, as well as in World War I after scientist William Baerin noted that soldiers were less likely to die of their wounds if their wounds were infested with worms.
The Department for International Development (DFID) – which partly funds the £ 195,000 ($ 250,000) project – believes worms can save people's lives and limbs by treating 250 wounds a day in places like Syria and the South Sudan.
The UK government is funding international war zones to use worms to help clean infected wounds. In countries where medical supplies and trained personnel are missing, the terrifying crawlies could be a "life saver" by cleaning up dead tissues and disinfecting cuts (stock)
"People living through conflict and the humanitarian crisis are still dying from injuries that could easily be healed with proper access to care," said Penny Mordaunt, secretary for international development.
"This innovative update on a simple treatment used in the trenches of the First World War is already saving lives and has the potential to save so many others".
Many people living in conflict areas die or lose their limbs after developing secondary infections from relatively simple operations.
And those with spinal injuries that remain immobile often go from the bedsores they developed into the hospital.
Larva therapy can help solve this problem by putting the larvae true and disinfected on the injured skin and on the soft tissues – what supports, connects or surrounds the organs.
Worms do not eat damaged tissues directly, but release saliva that contains enzymes that destroy bacteria and dead cells.
These enzymes also increase the production of chemicals in the immune system that help kill bacteria.
In the project, which is also supported by the United States Agency for International Development and the Government of the Netherlands, laboratory technologies will be developed to enable communities to produce medicinal worms safely.
The larvae had to be disinfected to remove the bacteria, otherwise they could introduce wound infections.
The project, led by Griffith University, aims to introduce field laboratories in war zones – as well as do-it-yourself larvae start-up kits for isolated communities – within the next year.
It is supported by the Humanitarian Grand Challenges fund, which provides financial assistance to 23 "of the most innovative ideas from around the world to address the challenges of aid and development", according to the DFID.
Greenbottle Blowflies will be used due to the fact that dead tissues are their preferred diet compared to live meat.
Once ready, the worms will be applied to the wounds in the mesh bags. Although the larvae are equally effective when they are free, covering them with a dressing reduces the patient's anxiety that the worm-like creatures can crawl them all over the place.
The larvae approved by the FDA as a "medical device" in 2004 for chronic or unhealed wounds. NHS also offers larvae therapy for gangrene.
Worms are generally left for a period of two to four days or until they stop eating or become adult flies.
They are then disposed of in clinical waste to be safe. However, it is very unlikely that used worms will spread the infection because of their sterilization process when they become flies.
THE DIABETIC HAS USED "MAGIROTTI MIRACLES" FOR FESTIVAL ON INFECTED SKIN ON HER FOOT AND SAVE IT FROM AMPUTATION
Michael Rogers had "miraculous" worms attached to the infected skin at his feet to save him from amputation. Mr. Rogers, in the photo after treatment, suffers from diabetes, which causes the death of the tissue on the left heel due to poor blood circulation
A diabetic had the maggots & # 39; miraculous & # 39; stuck to his feet for a week at a time to feast on his infected skin and save him from an amputation.
Michael Rogers, 64, of Swansea, lost his right leg in 2015 due to complications of his type 2 diabetes.
The former councilor was therefore obliged to cut the 80% of the left heel last year, after blood flow and nervous problems meant that the tissue became black and died.
Left with a wound of 14×10 cm on the sole of the foot and desperate not to lose another leg, the doctors advised Mr. Rogers to put the larvae of the green bottle on injury last April.
Rogers allowed the larvae to feast on his infected tissue for two weeks of stint, which reduced his wound to only 3×1 cm in six months.
Although he is still in a wheelchair, Mr. Rogers is on the road to recovery and hopes to soon use a prosthetic heel.
Speaking of radical treatment, Rogers said: "I owe a lot to those little boys.
"Of course, I had a bit of trepidation in seeing these things crawl on my body while I was at home, trying to get on with my life and in bed at night while I was sleeping.
"But they were wonderful and they really helped me to solve them."
After having his right leg amputated in 2015 due to diabetic complications, Mr. Rogers was determined not to lose another limb. Therefore doctors recommended larval therapy. The larvae are depicted confined inside a gauze that consumes the infected meat