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Treating Infections Using Healthy Fecal Matter As An Antibiotic

There is  a relatively new medical procedure called faecal transplanting which is outperforming antibiotics against severe infections. The procedure involves the transplanting of bacteria from a healthy gut into an unhealthy one

For this procedure, doctors take poo from a healthy person, freeze it, liquidise it in a blender, then add it to a sick person’s bowel either by a tube through the nose or via the rectum.

The method colonises the gut with healthy bacteria and has a 85 percent success rate against life-threatening infections such as Clostridium compared to only 20 percent for standard antibiotic treatment.

As it stands, fecal transplants are no walk in the park. But for those infected with the bacteria Clostridium difficile, the procedure can be a life-saver. The infection causes 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, and up to 30 percent of patients don't respond to antibiotics. The chronically infected can suffer from debilitating digestive issues.

Doctors have had great success with fecal microbiota transplantation, or FMT. A healthy donor provides a stool sample, which is introduced to the patient by way of either a colonoscopy or a tube snaking down from the nose to the stomach. That fecal matter carries the bacterial colonies that help maintain the donor's healthy gut. The transplanted bacteria can often fight off C. difficile within days.

More than 500 centres in the US now offer faecal transplantation, with most using frozen donations from the not-for-profit stool bank organisation, OpenBiome, in Boston. The UK regulator (MRHA) has temporarily classed faecal transplants as a medicinal product.

Faecal transplantation is also being tested for other conditions including obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and colitis. However, Spector and Knight say claims that faecal transplantation could be a cure-all for many diseases are probably too optimistic. And there are risks of infection. And the transfer of microbes to a new host could include transferring susceptibility to obesity and even mental illness.

Readmore: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3365524/

Readmore: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2014/10/11/good-news-you-can-take-your-fecal-transplants-orally/

#health #antibiotics #fecalmatter #doctor 


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16
Nov
2015
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