A deadly hospital superbug could be treated using capsules of frozen faeces from healthy people, a new study has found.
The gut infection Clostridium difficule (C. difficile) can be life-threatening, especially in the elderly.
But scientists in the US found introducing 'normal' gut bacteria from a healthy donor's excrement, rebalanced a C. difficile patient's system, curing their illness.
They successfully cured 18 of 20 patients who took part in the study at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston of their diarrhea, improving their condition.
A new study has found capsules of frozen facecal matter from healthy donors can cure C. difficile patients of their severe diarrhoea. Doctors in the US cured 18 of the 20 patients taking part in their research. (File picture)
In healthy people the bacteria C. difficile lies harmlessly in the gut. But the feared infection is caused when antibiotics upset the balance of the intestines. While natural bacteria that protect against infection are decimated by the drugs, C. difficile multiply. The result is severe diarrhoea, which can cause fatal complications, including swelling of the bowel from a build-up of gas.
The new research builds on a UK study published in 2012 where 'stool transplants' were used to restore the balance of the gut in mice suffering C. difficile.
But the methods used were invasive and presented problems for human patients.
The researchers developed a method whereby they could freeze healthy stool samples, enclosing them in capsules for patients to swallow.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2792108/are-pills-containing-frozen-faeces-key-beating-hospital-superbug-stool-samples-healthy-donors-restores-balance-gut-bacteria.html#ixzz3G7mJYe5S
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