Volume 44, Issue 2 (March 1999)
Determination of Drug Levels in Larvae of Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae) Reared on Rabbit Carcasses Containing Morphine
This study concerns the determinations of morphine concentrations in fly larvae reared on rabbits administered different concentrations of morphine and a correlation between concentrations of the drug in larvae and tissues. Three rabbits (R1, R2 and R3) were given dosages of 12.5, 25.0 and 50.0 mg/h of morphine over a 3 h period via continuous ear artery perfusion. These dosages and time of perfusion were calculated to create tissue concentrations of morphine similar to those encountered in human deaths due to overdose. Morphine blood level plateau was attained after 1 h of perfusion. A fourth rabbit was used as a control. To evaluate drug concentrations, tissues were sampled using a coelioscopic technique. Approximately 400 eggs of Lucilia sericata, all of the same age category, were placed in eyes, nostrils and mouth of each rabbit carcass. Larvae and puparia were regularly collected from each rabbit for toxicological analysis. The concentrations of the drug in the tissues sampled were determined to be similar to those normally encountered in human overdoses and were correlated with the dosage of morphine that had been administered. Morphine was detected in all larvae and pupae fed on tissues from carcasses administered morphine, except for puparia from the colony fed on the R1 animal which received 12.5 mg/h dosage of morphine. All samples from the control rabbit were negative for morphine. Concentrations of morphine in larvae reared on rabbit carcasses containing morphine were 30 to 100 times lower than the concentrations found in the tissues. A correlation between the tissue concentrations and larval concentrations was found in only 3rd instar larvae (80 to 140 h following hatching). No correlations were found between administered dosages, tissue concentrations and younger larvae, prepuparial larvae or puparia.