Screwworm (Diptera: Calliphoridae) Myiasis in the Southern Caribbean, and Proposals for Its Management

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In a random sample of animal producers and animal health personnel, 33% of the respondents in Trinidad, 15% in Guyana, and 11% in Suriname recalled at least one case of human myiasis due to Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel). During 1981, respondents in Suriname (88%), Guyana (85%), and Trinidad and Tobago (82%) found at least one case of myiasis in their livestock, mainly cattle, pigs, and dogs. Feral animals—e.g., jaguars—were also found to be infested. The initial wounds were mainly the umbilicus of neonates, whereas arbitrary cuts, castration wounds, and vampire bites were also affected. Fifty-three to 78% of all respondents examined their livestock daily for wounds and infestation by the screwworm. Daily examinations of livestock are now done as a result of the screwworm threat. Annual estimates of losses (in U.S. dollars) due to surveillance and medication ranged from 4.82 to 10.71 per animal. These national losses amounted to 0.30 million (Suriname), 1.02 million (Trinidad and Tobago), and 4.33 million (Guyana). Other losses, such as failure to thrive, reduction in milk production, and hide injury due to screwworm activity, were not available. Most producers found that the greatest infestation occurred in the wet season. Also, most (68 to 83%) found the screwworm to be second in importance to the Boophilus spp. ticks as a pest of livestock, but of greater significance than biting flies such as tabanids and stable flies. Eradication of the screwworm can be recommended for the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Eradication for Suriname and Guyana seems feasible only on the 100-km wide coastal strips, where most human and livestock populations exist.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1983

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