Friday 19 December, 2014
Non-peer Reviewed

There’s medicinal value in stools

Published On: Sun, Oct 21st, 2012 | Microbiology | By BioNews

A new therapy using donated human stool can treat deadly and contagious Clostridium difficile or C.diff infection, which affects the guts safely and effectively, researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital have found.

Researchers found that 43 of 49 patients recovered swiftly after treatment and had no complications from C.diff three months later, the latest study says.

C. diff is a bug that affects older adults in hospitals and typically occurs after use of antibiotics, when bacteria in the gut flora too gets killed. Symptoms include diarrhoea, fever, loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal pain and tenderness.

The condition is linked to 14,000 deaths annually.

Mayur Ramesh, infectious disease physician at the Henry Ford Hospital and senior study author, says the treatment, while appearing unconventional, has striking results, according to a Henry Ford statement.

“More than 90 percent of the patients in our study were cured of their C.diff infection. This treatment is a viable option for patients who are not responding to conventional treatment and who want to avoid surgery,” says Ramesh.

Treatment is performed either through a nasogastric tube (through the nose) or colonscopy on an outpatient or inpatient basis. Colonoscopy looks at the interior lining of your large intestine (rectum and colon).

C.diff infection is typically treated with the antibiotics metronidazole or vancomycin. However, surgery could be required to remove the infected part of the intestines.

“Patients who receive treatment through a nasogastric tube don’t taste or smell the stool mixture as it’s administered,” says Ramesh.

The study was presented on Friday at the annual Infectious Diseases Society of America meeting in San Diego, US.

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