Toilets are so 20th century.
“Poop transplants” have recently been proven to effectively treat Clostridium difficile bacteria, a typically very hard-to-treat infection that causes severe, watery diarrhea. The procedure involves adding warm water to the stool from healthy people and delivering it via a tube into the patients’ colons, working to re-establish a normal balance of bacteria in the intestine.
C. diff is a serious infection — people die from this. With this treatment, the cure rate is close to 100 percent,” said study researcher Dr. Mayur Ramesh, an infectious disease physician at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. C. diff is responsible for 14,000 deaths in the US per year.
The study reported that 46 out of the 49 patients treated with a poop transplant got better within a week of the treatment. Among these 46 people, four experienced a recurrence of their infection, as opposed to the commonly reported 25-30 percent of recurrence in patients treated using the standard approach, a course of antibiotics.
Dr. Ramesh also claimed that the patients were not bothered by the gross-out factor of the procedure, as the suffering they endure as a result of the symptoms is so severe. In most cases, the poop donors were spouses or children of the patients, along with some other family members as well as unrelated people with fecal matter to spare.
In a future study, patients will be divided into two groups: one group will be transplanted with healthy poop, and the control group will have their own poop transplanted back into them, according to the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Where do I sign up?
Hopefully these studies are successful. Sounds like an ideal Saturday night.
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