A Case of Insect Colonization Before the Death

Stefano Vanin, Manuela Bonizzoli, Maria Luisa Migliaccio, Laura Tadini Buoninsegni, Valentina Bugelli, Vilma Pinchi, Martina Focardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Forensic entomology is a branch of forensic science in which insects are used as evidence in legal investigations relating to humans, domestic animals and wildlife. One of the theoretical pillars on which the discipline is based concerns the fact that flies colonize a body after death. However in cases of myiasis, maggots are present before death, with consequences in the correct estimation of the minimum postmortem interval (mPMI). We report here the case of a woman, largely colonized by fly larvae, who has lain alive in her garden for four days prior to being rescued. Larvae were found on the conjunctivae, the bronchi, the rectum and vagina. The woman's death, two months later, was caused by tetanus. The consequences of myiasis on mPMI estimation are here discussed. In fact, despite she was still alive larvae, indicated and estimated age of 1.5–2.5 days, based on environmental and body temperature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1665-1667
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number6
Early online date6 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


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