Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1615–1625 | Cite as

Bovine hypodermosis—a global aspect

  • Murtaz-ul Hassan
  • Muhammad Nisar Khan
  • Muhammad AbubakarEmail author
  • Hafiz Muhammad Waheed
  • Zafar Iqbal
  • Manzoor Hussain
Review Article


Cattle hypodermosis (warble fly infestation) is a notorious veterinary problem throughout the world. Larvae of Hypoderma species cause a subcutaneous myiasis of domesticated and wild ruminants. This disease is caused by, Hypoderma bovis, Hypoderma lineatum in cattle whereas, Hypoderma diana, Hypoderma actaeon, and Hypoderma tarandi, affect roe deer, red deer, and reindeer, respectively. Adults of the cattle grub are commonly known as heel flies, warble flies, bomb flies or gad flies. The biology of hypodermosis is complex because it passes through ecto- as well as endoparasitic stages in the life cycle. The parasitic stage of hypodermosis lasts about 1 year in domesticated as well as in the wild animals, while in the adult stage, a free-living fly lasts only for few days. The diagnosis of hypodermosis is of prime importance for planning treatment and the eradication program. Generally, there are two methods that are routinely used for diagnosis of hypodermosis, i.e., the direct clinical examination and immuno diagnosis by the use of pooled serum and/or milk sample. For the control of hypodermosis, different preparations are available and their use in most of the countries is limited to an individual level but never cover the whole cattle population of a country. Re-infestation in the herd occurs due to the untreated animals that remain the reservoir of the disease. The disease causes huge economic losses in animal production due to the effect of this disease on meat, milk, and the leather industry. It can also affect the general health status as well as the immune system of the body of the diseased animals. As regards the control measures of the disease, different methods have been efficiently practiced and consequently this disease is controlled at national level in many European countries.


Hypodermosis Warble fly infestation Hypoderma bovis Hypoderma lineatum Biology Economic significance 



The authors are thankful to Pakistan Science Foundation, Islamabad, Pakistan for sponsoring the research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murtaz-ul Hassan
    • 1
  • Muhammad Nisar Khan
    • 2
  • Muhammad Abubakar
    • 3
    Email author
  • Hafiz Muhammad Waheed
    • 1
  • Zafar Iqbal
    • 2
  • Manzoor Hussain
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary and Animal SciencesPMAS Arid Agriculture UniversityRawalpindiPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary ParasitologyUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  3. 3.National Veterinary LaboratoryIslamabadPakistan
  4. 4.Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary and Animal SciencesPMAS Arid Agriculture UniversityRawalpindiPakistan

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