Image: Jezebel


BY JASMINE BAILEY 


C. Diff. infection — it’s a gastrointestinal infection that plays a role in an estimated 14,000 deaths a year in the U.S. alone.


When it reaches the human gut it begins to multiply and produce toxins. And can cause recurring diarrhea, cramping, nausea and fever and in some cases can lead to death.


The Los Angeles Times reports $3.2 billion is spent every year on antibiotics to treat the infection and a lot of the time they don’t even work. But a recent study shows there is a new treatment that is three times more effective than antibiotics— fecal transplants.


KMSP:
“A fecal transplant is when you take stool from a health individual a transplant it into the person with the recurrent C. Diff infection to restore the normal balance of bacteria.”


So basically, doctors have always tried to kill the bad bacteria with antibiotics, but with this new treatment they’re not killing them — they’re just wiping them out by growing some healthy bacteria.


The results of the study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, claim the fecal transplant cured 15 of the 16 people who had recurrent C. Diff. infection compared to 4 of 13 treated with antibiotics.  


The treatment was so effective that researchers stopped the study early because they thought it was unethical to not give the fecal transplants to those patients on antibiotics. So how exactly is this treatment executed?


Well according to Science Blogs— of course, a stool sample is first selected, preferably soft. It is then blended with salt water. Then they put a tube through the nose down into the stomach and into the small intestine. The solution is then pushed down through the tube.


And in case you were wondering— no, the patient can’t smell or taste what is going down their throat.


Els van Nood, an internal medicine researcher at the University of Amsterdam and a co-author of the study, told Nature.com


“We get e-mails from everywhere, from desperate patients asking to come to the hospital to get this treatment. They can still find a lot of reluctance, and we hope that this will change.”


Researchers note — fecal transplants having been carried out in the past but it remains a relatively untested procedure, and further studies will be required to see if the results can be replicated. There is also likely to be resistance toward this process — both from patients and from the medical community.

Doctors Find Bizarre Treatment for Intestinal Infection

by Jasmine Bailey
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Transcript
Jan 19, 2013

Doctors Find Bizarre Treatment for Intestinal Infection

 

Image: Jezebel


BY JASMINE BAILEY 


C. Diff. infection — it’s a gastrointestinal infection that plays a role in an estimated 14,000 deaths a year in the U.S. alone.


When it reaches the human gut it begins to multiply and produce toxins. And can cause recurring diarrhea, cramping, nausea and fever and in some cases can lead to death.


The Los Angeles Times reports $3.2 billion is spent every year on antibiotics to treat the infection and a lot of the time they don’t even work. But a recent study shows there is a new treatment that is three times more effective than antibiotics— fecal transplants.


KMSP:
“A fecal transplant is when you take stool from a health individual a transplant it into the person with the recurrent C. Diff infection to restore the normal balance of bacteria.”


So basically, doctors have always tried to kill the bad bacteria with antibiotics, but with this new treatment they’re not killing them — they’re just wiping them out by growing some healthy bacteria.


The results of the study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, claim the fecal transplant cured 15 of the 16 people who had recurrent C. Diff. infection compared to 4 of 13 treated with antibiotics.  


The treatment was so effective that researchers stopped the study early because they thought it was unethical to not give the fecal transplants to those patients on antibiotics. So how exactly is this treatment executed?


Well according to Science Blogs— of course, a stool sample is first selected, preferably soft. It is then blended with salt water. Then they put a tube through the nose down into the stomach and into the small intestine. The solution is then pushed down through the tube.


And in case you were wondering— no, the patient can’t smell or taste what is going down their throat.


Els van Nood, an internal medicine researcher at the University of Amsterdam and a co-author of the study, told Nature.com


“We get e-mails from everywhere, from desperate patients asking to come to the hospital to get this treatment. They can still find a lot of reluctance, and we hope that this will change.”


Researchers note — fecal transplants having been carried out in the past but it remains a relatively untested procedure, and further studies will be required to see if the results can be replicated. There is also likely to be resistance toward this process — both from patients and from the medical community.

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