Doctors from Montefiore Medical Center in New York have now used fecal matter to treat patients afflicted with the superbug C.diff, bacteria that cause diarrhea and fever.
Via a colonoscopy, doctors gave 77 patients carryingClostridium difficile (C.diff) a fecal microbiota therapy containing a healthy person’s stool sample. Doing so helped regulate the body’s natural balance of bacteria. The doctors found improvements in nine out of 10 cases and no reports of complications or side effects.
"Fecal transplantation is a highly effective, well tolerated and safe form of therapy for this traditionally difficult infection," Dr. Lawrence Brandt, who was in charge of the 77 patients studied, told WebMD.
From the Daily Mail:
Clostridium difficile (C.diff) is a significant problem in hospitals and nursing homes.
In 2008–09, there were 36,095 reported cases of C.diff in England. Around 500,000 people are infected each year in the U.S. The condition can be potentially life-threatening.
The bacteria do not cause any problems in healthy people. However, some antibiotics used to treat other conditions can interfere with the balance of 'good' bacteria in the gut.
When this happens, C.diff bacteria can multiply and produce toxins, leading to intestinal infections which cause diarrhea and fever.