When you read this is sounds pretty dramatic, but the procedure is working. Family feces donors are needed. This is another hospital acquired infection that is growing almost as fast as MRSA and one to be aware of. The process involves a stool transplant and is running about a 95% cure rate, so when faced with the choices of living with it, or giving this a try, I would think the procedure is now seen in an entirely different light.
The process involves injecting the liquid through the tube and into the stomach. The donor’s material is mixed with water and filtered to take out the organic matter, leaving a dark brown liquid that contained billions of bacteria. The process does not sound that bad, it’s more or less the ingredients that make this an odd treatment, and it’s not as difficult as finding an organ donor by any means. BD
Dr. Johannes Aas was stumped. The patient in his Duluth, Minn., clinic was not responding to antibiotics, and now the stubborn infection in his intestines threatened to kill him. Then Aas found a similar case written up in a 1950s Norwegian medical journal. The cure? Replace all the bacteria in the patient's gut with a tiny dose of someone else's stool.
The cure that Aas discovered that day worked almost instantly, but other doctors scoffed. Well, they are not scoffing anymore. With the proliferation of dangerous superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, the unusual treatment is gaining respect from researchers across the country.
Often, a dose of a different antibiotic will suppress the infection. But sometimes C. difficile just keeps coming back.
"I was so, so, so sick," said Keri Primbs, 34, of California, who was treated for a C. difficile infection in Duluth in 2006. "I had diarrhea 20 times a day." The infection lasted on and off for a year. She and her husband "nicknamed it the beast." "We just need that little brown bag," said Dr. Timothy Rubin, a gastroenterologist who works with Aas. He meant the stool sample from Jolliffe's husband, which was being processed in the lab. It was mixed with water and filtered to take out the organic matter, leaving a dark brown liquid that contained billions of bacteria.
Aas says he doesn't know exactly why the stool transplant works. He presumes that the infusion of donated flora resets the bacterial balance in the gut and somehow keeps the C. difficile in check. Whatever the mechanism, it works 95 percent of the time.
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