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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 July 7; 335(7609): 52.
PMCID: PMC1910659


H E Lotery, locum consultant,1 E M Spolton, general practitioner,2 and L J Cook, consultant3

A 72 year old man who had recently returned from Zimbabwe presented with an asymptomatic boil on his buttock. Upon gentle probing of the white top of the lesion, a single larva emerged. This condition is cutaneous myiasis, where the skin is infested with the larva of a fly. In southern Africa the most common cause is the tumbu fly, Cordylobia anthropophaga. The flies lay their eggs on laundry drying outdoors. When the clothes are worn, the larvae hatch and burrow into the skin. Local people iron their clothes at high temperatures to kill the eggs and reduce the risk of infestation.infestation.

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