Skip to main content

Nasal Myiasis in Hinduism and Contemporary Otorhinolaryngology

Abstract

Various case reports on nasal myiasis written during the 1990s and 2000s state that nasal myiasis, which is known as peenash among South Asian natives, is a form of divine punishment in Hindu mythology, but do not provide citations from Hindu scriptures that would suggest this interpretation. This paper aims to discuss the phenomenon of peenash in a historical context by examining medical literature written during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to identify Hindu texts contributing to the belief of some Hindus that nasal myiasis is a form of divine punishment, and to provide an overview of contemporary treatment for and management of nasal myiasis.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  • Arora, S., Sharma, J. K., Pippal, S. K., Sethi, Y., & Yadav, A. (2009). Clinical etiology of myiasis in ENT: A reterograde period-interval study. Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology, 75(3), 356–361.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Ashrafian, H. (2009). An ancient Indian method of penis lengthening. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38(1), 4–5. doi:10.1007/s10508-008-9417-y.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Balfour, E. (1885). The cyclopaedia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia: Commercial, industrial, and scientific; products of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, useful arts and manufactures (3rd ed.). London: Bernard Quaritch.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bhatia, M. L., & Dutta, K. (1965). Myiasis of the tracheostomy wound. Journal of Laryngology and Otology, 79(10), 907–911.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Burnett, C. H. (1893). System of diseases of the ear, nose, and throat (Vol. 1). Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cohen, E. S. (2007). Atlas of cosmetic and reconstructive periodontal surgery (3rd ed.). China: People’s Medical Publishing House.

    Google Scholar 

  • Curran, W. (1887). Some rare professional life experiences: Case VII—peenash, alias vermes nasi. Medicine Press & Circle, 94, 216–218.

    Google Scholar 

  • Droma, E. B., Wilamowski, A., Schnur, H., Yarom, N., Scheuer, E., & Schwartz, E. (2007). Oral myiasis: A case report and literature review. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontics, 103(1), 92–96. doi:10.1016/j.tripleo.2005.10.075.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Drury, H. (1873). The useful plants of India: With notices of their chief value in commerce, medicine, and the arts (2nd ed.). London: William H. Allen & Co.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dutt, M. N. (1896). A prose English translation of Vishnupuranam (based on professor H.H. Wilson’s translation). Calcutta: Keshub Academy.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dymock, W. (1885). The vegetable materia medica of Western India (2nd ed.). Bombay: Education Society’s Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dymock, W., Warden, C. J. H., & Hooper, D. (1893). Pharmacographia indica: A history of the principal drugs of vegetable origin met within British India (part vi). Bombay: Education Society’s Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fantham, H. B., Braun, M. G. C. C., Stephens, J. W. W., & Theobald, F. V. (1916). The animal parasites of man. New York: William Wood and Company.

    Google Scholar 

  • Francesconi, F., & Lupi, O. (2006). Myiasis. In S. K. Tyring, O. Lupi, & U. R. Hengge (Eds.), Tropical dermatology (pp. 232–239). Philadelphia: Elsevier.

    Google Scholar 

  • Francesconi, F., & Lupi, O. (2012). Myiasis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 25(1), 79–105. doi:10.1128/CMR.00010-11.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Franza, R., Leo, L., Minerva, T., & Sanapo, F. (2006). Myiasis of the tracheostomy wound: Case report. Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica, 26(4), 222–224.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Gealh, W. C., Ferreira, G. M., Farah, G. J., Teodoro, U., & Camarini, E. T. (2009). Treatment of oral myiasis caused by Cochliomyia hominivorax: Two cases treated with ivermectin. British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 47(1), 23–26. doi:10.1016/j.bjoms.2008.04.009.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Goff, M. L., Campobasso, C. P., & Gherardi, M. (2010). Forensic implications of myiasis. In J. Amendt, C. P. Campobasso, M. L. Goff, & M. Grassberger (Eds.), Current concepts in forensic entomology (pp. 313–326). USA: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gould, G. M., & Pyle, W. L. (1901). Anomalies and curiosities of medicine. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders and Company.

    Google Scholar 

  • Graham, O. H. (1979). The chemical control of screwworm: A review. Southwestern Entomologist, 4, 258–264.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hakeem, M. J., & Bhattacharyya, D. N. (2009). Exotic human myiasis. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 7(4), 198–202. doi:10.1016/j.tmaid.2009.05.007.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hall, F. H. (1909). Maggots in the nose. In C. Allbutt & H. D. Rolleston (Eds.), A system of medicine: Vol. 4, part 2—Diseases of the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, and ear (pp. 59–60). London: Macmillan and Co.

    Google Scholar 

  • James, M. T. (1947). The flies that cause myiasis in man. Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture.

  • Kahn, D. G. (1999). Myiasis secondary to Dermatobia hominis (human botfly) presenting as a long-standing breast mass. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, 123, 829–831.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kamboj, M., Mahajan, S., & Boaz, K. (2007). Oral myiasis misinterpreted as salivary gland adenoma. Journal of Clinical Pathology, 60, 848.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Kyle, D. B. (1916). A textbook of diseases of the nose and throat. USA: W.B. Saunders and Co.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lahory, B. T. C. (1857). On peenash, or worms in the nose. Edinburgh Medical Journal, 2(1), 371–372.

    Google Scholar 

  • Landeman, E. (1929). Indian Medical Gazette, 64, 657.

  • Lima Junior, S. M., Asprino, L., Prado, A. P., Moreira, R. W., & de Moraes, M. (2010). Oral myiasis caused by Cochliomyia hominivorax treated nonsurgically with nitrofurazone: Report of 2 cases. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontics, 109(3), e70–e73. doi:10.1016/j.tripleo.2009.11.014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Macdonald, G. (1890). A treatise on diseases of the nose and its accessory cavities. London: Macmillan and Co.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moore, W. J. (1873). Native practice in Rajpootana. Indian Annals for Medical Science, 31, 95–115.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moore, W. J. (1877). A manual of family medicine in India (2nd ed.). London: J. & A. Churchill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Navarra, T. (2003). The encyclopedia of asthma and respiratory disorders. USA: Infobase Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Noutsis, C., & Millikan, L. E. (1994). Myiasis. Dermatologic Clinics, 12(4), 729–736.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Olivelle, P. (2004). The law code of Manu. Great Britain: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Patterson, R. L. (1909). An Indian screw-worm. Indian Medical Gazette, 44(10), 374–376.

    Google Scholar 

  • Patton, W. S. (1922). Notes on myiasis producing Diptera of man and animals. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 12, 239–261.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Prasanna Kumar, S., Ravikumar, A., Somu, L., Vijaya Prabhu, P., & Mundakannan Subbaiya Periyasamy Subbaraj, R. (2011). Tracheostomal myiasis: A case report and review of the literature. Case Reports in Otolaryngology, 2011, 303510. doi:10.1155/2011/303510.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Quintanilla-Cedillo, M. R., Leon-Urena, H., Contreras-Ruiz, J., & Arenas, R. (2005). The value of Doppler ultrasound in diagnosis in 25 cases of furunculoid myiasis. International Journal of Dermatology, 44(1), 34–37. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2004.02471.x.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Rodríguez Morales, A. J., Barbella, R. A., Dickson, S. M., Johnston, S., & Pinto, J. A. (2006). Aspectos Histopatológicos y Parasitológicos de la Infestación Bucal por Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis: A Propósito de Un Caso. Salus Militiae, 31(2), 45–49.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rustomjee, B. (1860). Selection of cases from the records of the Kurrachee charitable dispensary: No. 5—worms in the nose; cured by turpentine and other injections. In W. C. Coles (Ed.), Transactions of the medical and physical society of Bombayno. v. new series, for the year 1859 (pp. xxviii–xxix). Bombay: Education Society’s Press, Byculla.

  • Sharma, H., Dayal, D., & Agrawal, S. P. (1989). Nasal myiasis: Review of 10 years experience. Journal of Laryngology and Otology, 103(5), 489–491.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Shinohara, E. H., Martini, M. Z., de Oliveira Neto, H. G., & Takahashi, A. (2004). Oral myiasis treated with ivermectin: Case report. Brazilian Dental Journal, 15(1), 79–81.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Singh, I., Gathwala, G., Yadav, S. P., Wig, U., & Jakhar, K. K. (1993). Myiasis in children: The Indian perspective. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 25(1–3), 127–131.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Soni, N. K. (2000). Endoscopy in nasal myiasis. Tropical Doctor, 30(4), 225–227.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Sood, V. P., Kakar, P. K., & Wattal, B. L. (1976). Myiasis in otorhinolaryngology with entomological aspects. Journal of Laryngology and Otology, 90(4), 393–399.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Spradbery, J. P. (1994). Screw-worm fly: A tale of two species. Agricultural Zoology Reviews, 6, 1–62.

    Google Scholar 

  • Spradbery, J. P., Tozer, R. S., Drewett, N., & Lindsey, M. J. (1985). The efficacy of ivermectin against larvae of the screw-worm fly (chrysomya bezziana). Australian Veterinary Journal, 62(9), 311–314.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Stewart, W. K. (1872). Case of development of larvae in the nasal passages Army medical department report for the year 1870, and supplement to report for 1869: (Vol. XII, pp. 529–531). London: Harrison and Sons.

    Google Scholar 

  • Uzun, L., Cinar, F., Beder, L. B., Aslan, T., & Altintas, K. (2004). Radical mastoidectomy cavity myiasis caused by Wohlfahrtia magnifica. Journal of Laryngology and Otology, 118(1), 54–56. doi:10.1258/002221504322731655.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Vemsani, L. (2012). Worms and the corporal body in India: An examination of Hindu literary traditions. In B. Gardenour & M. Tadd (Eds.), Parasites, worms, and the human body in religion and culture (pp. 17–40). New York: Peter Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  • Watson, C. (1901). Encyclopaedia medica (Vol. 8). New York: Longman, Greens & Co.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wise, T. A. (1860). Commentary on the Hindu system of medicine: New issue. London: Trübner & Co.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wishart, D. J. G. (1918). The disease ozena. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 8(7), 606–610.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Wood, E., & Subrahmanyam, S. V. (1911). The Garuda Purana (Saroddhara). Allahabad: Panini Office.

    Google Scholar 

  • Younge, G. H. (1911). Treatment of peenash. British Medical Journal, 1(2619), 596.

    Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Yuca, K., Caksen, H., Sakin, Y. F., Yuca, S. A., Kiris, M., Yilmaz, H., et al. (2005). Aural myiasis in children and literature review. Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine, 206(2), 125–130.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Zysk, K. G. (1998). Medicine in the Veda: Religious healing in the Veda, with translations and annotations of medical hymns from the Rgveda and the Atharvaveda and renderings from the corresponding ritual texts (2nd ed.). India: Motilal Banarsidass Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Christoph J. Griessenauer.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bosmia, A.N., Zimmermann, T.M., Griessenauer, C.J. et al. Nasal Myiasis in Hinduism and Contemporary Otorhinolaryngology. J Relig Health 56, 1263–1281 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-013-9817-8

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-013-9817-8

Keywords

  • Hinduism
  • India
  • Myiasis
  • Peenash
  • Worms