Fecal Matter Transplants Used to Cure Intestinal Infection

Clostridiumdifficile

C. difficile colonies on a blood agar plate.

James Gallagher reports in BBC News

Transplanting faecal matter from one person to another — the thought might turn your stomach, but it could be lifesaving.

Some doctors are using the procedure to repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria, which can become unbalanced in some diseases. Dr Alisdair MacConnachie, who thinks he is the only UK doctor to carry out the procedure for Clostridium difficle infection, describes it as a proven treatment. He says it should be used, but only as a treatment of last resort.

The logic is simple. C. difficile infection is caused by antibiotics wiping out swathes of bacteria in the gut. It gives the surviving C. difficile bacteria room to explode in numbers and produce masses of toxins which lead to diarrhoea and can be fatal.

The first-choice solution, more antibiotics, does not always work and some patients develop recurrent infection. The theory is that by adding more bacteria to the bowels, they will compete with C. difficile bacteria and control the infection …

Read More: BBC News

22 Comments on "Fecal Matter Transplants Used to Cure Intestinal Infection"

  1. have we given up the medical obsession with death yet? “kill or cut out all the bad” methodology needs to go away. Anti-biotic: the nice name for poison

  2. have we given up the medical obsession with death yet? “kill or cut out all the bad” methodology needs to go away. Anti-biotic: the nice name for poison

  3. Rex Vestri | Dec 18, 2011 at 12:05 am |

    Ha! This is nothing new. I’ve seen this procedure performed in pornos many times.  LOL

  4. Rex Vestri | Dec 17, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

    Ha! This is nothing new. I’ve seen Rocco perform this procedure many times.  (pr0n)

  5. Anonymous | Dec 18, 2011 at 12:52 am |

    Ah, c’mon, don’t give me your shit…..

  6. GoodDoktorBad | Dec 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm |

    Ah, c’mon, don’t give me your shit…..

  7. Simiantongue | Dec 18, 2011 at 3:57 am |

    I remember a very interesting doctoral thesis I read a few decades ago that addressed the evolutionary advantages and disadvantages for the behavior of eating fecal matter. It focused on dogs.

    It said something like, the inherent disadvantages of contracting parasites may be at least neutrally balanced by the sharing of advantageous digestive bacteria. For a behavior to survive in a breeding population this activity would have to of had at least a neutral effect on the survival of breeding populations until breeding age. Meaning the advantages and disadvantages of eating fecal matter had at least an equal effect on the survival of populations of dogs at least until breeding age than not eating it.

    It came to my attention at the time I recall that even humans have some symbiotic organisms, bacteria that help in the digestive process for example  that we are not born with. These must be passed on by exposure to other humans. If this isn’t done it can drastically effect health. A human can survive without some of these but life expectancy is shorter and general health overall is effected.

    It’s been a long time since I read about this and I’m afraid I haven’t retained a comprehensive knowledge about it so I’m a little foggy on facts but I remember the general ideas. That exposure is accomplished simply by fecal material being on hands in small amounts and passing that onto others in myriad of ways for example. Due to the vagaries of human interaction this is most likely happening between infants and parents. So you will more likely “inherit” your parents symbiotic organisms simply because you are exposed to them more than anyone else as a baby.

    But then this led to the ramification of the modern paradigm. Where babies are put into daycare because most of the time in society today parents have something less to do with their childs upbringing and are no longer the predominant caretakers, this can be for many modern sociological reasons. One being lower income families will usually have two working parents forcing them to put their  babies in daycare while both parents work. Another is higher income families will often employ caregivers. There have been studies that i’ve read quite a while ago that actually look into this as possible consequences to healthy development due to socioeconomic conditions.

    Another aspect was the increasing antiseptic environments that children are raised in today. There has been developing over the last century the idea that more antiseptic environments lead to better health overall, and this is true to a point.  Modern medical science has lot to be proud of, but to be blatantly honest there are three things which are predominately responsible for better health and an the increase of longevity in human populations in the last two centuries. People live longer and more healthier mostly because of the availability of clean water sources, better nutrition and personal hygiene. Sure it’s wonderful that people don’t die of appendicitis very often any more. But all the medical procedures, medications and what not don’t hold a candle to those three things. You can operate on a person all you want and if they don’t have clean water, proper food and hygiene then they are still not likely to have a long healthy life. So antiseptic environments are a part of the equation of better health and longevity.

    But it’s been found that there is a point of diminishing return for the advantages in that. Now it’s being investigated that environments that are too antiseptic,  where children are not exposed to enough sickness because of decades of antibiotics and such, that this may be contributing to diminishing health. It may be that children are being raised in environments where they are not exposed to enough bacteria, germs etc and that they are not able to gain enough of an immune reaction to such which is leading to epidemics of allergic reactions and other sickness to many things which, just generations ago, peoples immune systems would just shrug off.

    I’ll give an example and this is where it kind of gets kind of weird. Ted Kennedy just died of cancer not too long ago. If I remember correctly it was a malignant brain tumor which is called glioblastoma. It’s now suspected that being raised in an environment that was too antiseptic or a superclean environment, doesn’t allow a persons immune system to mature as it normally would. When a person contracts something common like cytomegalovirus or CMV, which is a common and typically harmless herpesvirus, and their immune system has been primed under normal conditions it can deal with it by keeping it in a latent state where it doesn’t replicate. But someone who was raised in a too antiseptic environment and is later exposed to CMV means they are at a much higher risk for developing glioblastoma.  A trend has actually been observed where affluent people who were raised in more antiseptic environments seem to be at higher risk.

    We shouldn’t be thinking here that this is something that targets the 1% as funny as that sounds. This pertains to more developed countries where children are raised in super antiseptic environments, this may actually at some point of diminishing return be a bad thing. So at one end you have people, say, in India being raised in an environment like washing clothes and drinking from the Ganges river. This can have a very detrimental effect on their health, they would live a longer healthier life if that water was cleaner. But at the same time you may have people in some other more developed country like the US, raised in a super antiseptic environment, think here cleaner water supplies, parents who use chemicals to clean the house and hand sanitizers constantly leading to a society that is much more antiseptic. Thought in these developed nations there is a recognized epidemic of generations who increasingly suffer from increasing allergies and ill health later in life like Sen Kennedy there.

    Also I should mention that massive overuse of medications like antibiotics that are prescribed at a whim have a very heavy hand in the increased epidemics in more developed parts of the world, adding greatly to the problem of too antiseptic environments. That isn’t talked about very often either. Don’t get me wrong antibiotics are a great discovery. I’m quite sure I owe the life of my niece to them once. But there is no question that, typical of our society, there is a heavy influence to overuse them because of a disproportionate profit motive. Which most definitely pushed the use of such medications well beyond the point of a diminishing return for better health.

  8. Simiantongue | Dec 17, 2011 at 11:57 pm |

    I remember a very interesting doctoral thesis I read a few decades ago that addressed the evolutionary advantages and disadvantages for the behavior of eating fecal matter. It focused on dogs.

    It said something like, the inherent disadvantages of contracting parasites may be at least neutrally balanced by the sharing of advantageous digestive bacteria. For a behavior to survive in a breeding population this activity would have to of had at least a neutral effect on the survival of breeding populations until breeding age. Meaning the advantages and disadvantages of eating fecal matter had at least an equal effect on the survival of populations of dogs at least until breeding age than not eating it.

    It came to my attention at the time I recall that even humans have some symbiotic organisms, bacteria that help in the digestive process for example  that we are not born with. These must be passed on by exposure to other humans. If this isn’t done it can drastically effect health. A human can survive without some of these but life expectancy is shorter and general health overall is effected.

    It’s been a long time since I read about this and I’m afraid I haven’t retained a comprehensive knowledge about it so I’m a little foggy on facts but I remember the general ideas. That exposure is accomplished simply by fecal material being on hands in small amounts and passing that onto others in myriad of ways for example. Due to the vagaries of human interaction this is most likely happening between infants and parents. So you will more likely “inherit” your parents symbiotic organisms simply because you are exposed to them more than anyone else as a baby.

    But then this led to the ramification of the modern paradigm. Where babies are put into daycare because most of the time in society today parents have something less to do with their childs upbringing and are no longer the predominant caretakers, this can be for many modern sociological reasons. One being lower income families will usually have two working parents forcing them to put their  babies in daycare while both parents work. Another is higher income families will often employ caregivers. There have been studies that i’ve read quite a while ago that actually look into this as possible consequences to healthy development due to socioeconomic conditions.

    Another aspect was the increasing antiseptic environments that children are raised in today. There has been developing over the last century the idea that more antiseptic environments lead to better health overall, and this is true to a point.  Modern medical science has lot to be proud of, but to be blatantly honest there are three things which are predominately responsible for better health and an the increase of longevity in human populations in the last two centuries. People live longer and more healthier mostly because of the availability of clean water sources, better nutrition and personal hygiene. Sure it’s wonderful that people don’t die of appendicitis very often any more. But all the medical procedures, medications and what not don’t hold a candle to those three things. You can operate on a person all you want and if they don’t have clean water, proper food and hygiene then they are still not likely to have a long healthy life. So antiseptic environments are a part of the equation of better health and longevity.

    But it’s been found that there is a point of diminishing return for the advantages in that. Now it’s being investigated that environments that are too antiseptic,  where children are not exposed to enough sickness because of decades of antibiotics and such, that this may be contributing to diminishing health. It may be that children are being raised in environments where they are not exposed to enough bacteria, germs etc and that they are not able to gain enough of an immune reaction to such which is leading to epidemics of allergic reactions and other sickness to many things which, just generations ago, peoples immune systems would just shrug off.

    I’ll give an example and this is where it kind of gets kind of weird. Ted Kennedy just died of cancer not too long ago. If I remember correctly it was a malignant brain tumor which is called glioblastoma. It’s now suspected that being raised in an environment that was too antiseptic or a superclean environment, doesn’t allow a persons immune system to mature as it normally would. When a person contracts something common like cytomegalovirus or CMV, which is a common and typically harmless herpesvirus, and their immune system has been primed under normal conditions it can deal with it by keeping it in a latent state where it doesn’t replicate. But someone who was raised in a too antiseptic environment and is later exposed to CMV means they are at a much higher risk for developing glioblastoma.  A trend has actually been observed where affluent people who were raised in more antiseptic environments seem to be at higher risk.

    We shouldn’t be thinking here that this is something that targets the 1% as funny as that sounds. This pertains to more developed countries where children are raised in super antiseptic environments, this may actually at some point of diminishing return be a bad thing. So at one end you have people, say, in India being raised in an environment like washing clothes and drinking from the Ganges river. This can have a very detrimental effect on their health, they would live a longer healthier life if that water was cleaner. But at the same time you may have people in some other more developed country like the US, raised in a super antiseptic environment, think here cleaner water supplies, parents who use chemicals to clean the house and hand sanitizers constantly leading to a society that is much more antiseptic. Thought in these developed nations there is a recognized epidemic of generations who increasingly suffer from increasing allergies and ill health later in life like Sen Kennedy there.

    Also I should mention that massive overuse of medications like antibiotics that are prescribed at a whim have a very heavy hand in the increased epidemics in more developed parts of the world, adding greatly to the problem of too antiseptic environments. That isn’t talked about very often either. Don’t get me wrong antibiotics are a great discovery. I’m quite sure I owe the life of my niece to them once. But there is no question that, typical of our society, there is a heavy influence to overuse them because of a disproportionate profit motive. Which most definitely pushed the use of such medications well beyond the point of a diminishing return for better health.

  9. Anonymous | Dec 18, 2011 at 4:58 am |

    C. diff.  infection is nearly guaranteed with most long term in-hospital antibiotic treatments.  It’s a smell, you never forget and something you never want to have again.  Given the unavailability or awkwardness of having family members donate, I’m thinking pretreatment self fecal banking is the way to go.  The other protocol is to use infant ‘donations’.   Modern medicine at its finest. 

  10. Calypso_1 | Dec 18, 2011 at 12:58 am |

    C. diff.  infection is nearly guaranteed with most long term in-hospital antibiotic treatments.  It’s a smell you never forget and something you never want to have again.  Given the unavailability or awkwardness of having family members donate, I’m thinking pretreatment self fecal banking is the way to go.  The other protocol is to use infant ‘donations’.    Then there’s helminthic therapy. 90% of the cells in your body aren’t ‘you’- time to make friends. Modern medicine at its finest.

  11. Dave ruhoff | Dec 18, 2011 at 6:05 am |

     So many words to say u dont know shit….shad up

  12. Simiantongue | Dec 18, 2011 at 11:34 am |

    Oooh, viva la repartee. I haven’t had a sardonic internet remark aimed at me in at least a few hours. Not exactly Oscar Wilde material though, I’m a little busy with more interesting things, you’ll have to make do with my thugs that handle conversations at your level.  

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmDIWrLUMsk

  13. Come on now, that was some good shyt!! pass it along

  14. A vacation trip, a toothbrush and some undeveloped film. Perhaps there’s more to the urban myth than meets the eye.

  15. Anonymous | Dec 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm |

    Actually a reasonable inquiry into shit.

  16. DeepCough | Dec 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm |

    Hey, docs, how’s that cure for the common cold comin’, huh?

  17. DeepCough | Dec 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm |

    Hey, docs, how’s that cure for the common cold comin’, huh?

Comments are closed.