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Common Bacterial Infection Cured by Fecal Transfer

Update Date: Jan 17, 2013 02:27 AM EST
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There is good news for people who hate wastage and encourage recycling. Researchers in a recent study have found that human feces can be transferred from one person to another to cure a common bacterial infection.

According to the study, human feces have a huge number of beneficial bacteria, which, when transferred to another person, can cure them of an infection by Clostridium difficile.

This bacterial infection is a commonly occurring one, though it is severe in its intensity. The common symptoms of the infection are severe diarrhea for longer frequency, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. In some cases, it is also found to be antibiotic-resistant, while regular use of antibiotics apparently destroys the beneficial micro-organisms of the body, which is not desired.

"Clostridium difficile only grows when normal bacteria are absent. Everybody makes a joke about this, but for the patients it really makes a big difference. People are desperate," Dr. Josbert Keller, a gastroenterologist at Hagaziekenhuis Hospital, in The Hague, was quoted as saying in Medical Express.

For the treatment, the feces of the donor is taken, mixed with saline and introduced into the body of the patient. The bacteria contained in the feces works toward the destruction of Clostridium difficile in the gut of the individual.

In the research, it was also found that the fecal transplant was more effective than the administration of antibiotic. For this treatment, 16 patients were taken. It was observed that 13 of them were cured with the first fecal transplant, giving the treatment a success rate of an impressive 81 percent. While out of the three patients remaining, two of them had to undergo a further treatment course to be completely cured.

The result of the research has opened further avenues for treating a myriad of gastrointestinal disorders. Since human feces contain many beneficial micro-organisms, its transplant might help in curing many gastric diseases.

The research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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