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Fecal Transplants – more good news from bacteria

January 17, 2013

Fecal transplants are in the news again.

“The half-century old medical procedure has long been a measure of last resort, its mere mention enough to make a room full of doctors wrinkle their noses and laugh like schoolchildren: When a patient suffers from a gastrointestinal infection that keeps coming back, try transplanting someone else’s feces into the gut to restore a normal balance of healthy bacteria.

“The scatological treatment may seem more medieval than modern, but over the past decade, doctors have increasingly stopped snickering and started to try it — with promising results. There is now a flurry of new trials at cutting-edge medical centers in Boston and elsewhere, and on Wednesday, a rigorous randomized trial published by Dutch researchers found that most patients with serious, recurrent infections caused by the bacteria C. difficile got better when donor feces were infused into their intestines. That study was halted early because the patients fared so much better than a group given standard antibiotic therapy.

” “There’s an aesthetic factor. There’s a gross factor that wigs people out a little bit,” said Dr. George Russell, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who did his first fecal transplant in 2010, on a two-year-old child with a relapsing C. difficile infection… ”  (more here)

Other studies find successful treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.


  1. January 17, 2013 1:32 pm

    thank goodness Freud got us to stop giggling about poop and be serious about colonoscopies, colostomy bags–and the above, a seemingly serious illness which can be remedied by poop–who’da thunk, eh?

  2. JamesPadraicR permalink
    January 18, 2013 3:37 pm

    They really need to come up with a better name for this. But I suppose Intestinal Micro-biome Transplant is a mouthful. I’d already read some articles about it, when my mother came down with a C. diff infection last October. Fortunately the oral vancomycin they gave a for couple weeks her took care of it.

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