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Background Myiasis due to Old World screw-worm fly, Chrysomya bezziana, is an important obligate zoonotic disease in the OIE-list of diseases and is found throughout much of Africa, the Indian subcontinent, southeast and east Asia. C. bezziana myiases cause not only morbidity and death to animals and humans, but also economic losses in the livestock industries. Because of the aggressive and destructive nature of this disease in hosts, we initiated this study to provide a comprehensive understanding of human myiasis caused by C. bezziana. Methods We conducted a systematic search of the databases in English (PubMed, Embase and African Index Medicus) and Chinese (CNKI, Wanfang, and Duxiu), and international government online reports to 6th February, 2019, to identify studies concerning Chrysomya bezziana. Another ten human cases in China and Papua New Guinea that our team had recorded were also included. Results We retrieved 1,048 reports from which 202 studies were ultimately eligible for inclusion in the present descriptive analyses. Since the first human case due to C. bezziana was reported in 1909, we have summarized 291 cases and found that these cases often occurred in poor hygiene, low socio-economic conditions, old age, and underlying diseases including infections, age-related diseases, and noninfectious chronic diseases. But C. bezziana myiasis appears largely neglected as a serious medical or veterinary condition, with human and animal cases only reported in 16 and 24 countries respectively, despite this fly species recorded as present in 44 countries worldwide. Conclusion Our findings indicate that cryptic myiasis cases due to the obligate parasite, C. bezziana, are under-recognized. Through this in-depth study to clarify the knowledge of human C. bezziana myiasis including its etiology, clinical features, diagnosis, treatment, epidemiology, prevention and control, we call for more vigilance and awareness of the disease from governments, health authorities, clinicians, veterinary workers, nursing homes, and also the general public.

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