Dr. Weeks’ Comment: The enemy is seldom who we think it is. Critters living within our guts offer symbiotic services. We collaborate. Now a modern version of a time-honored remedy is available.
Pills made from poop cure serious gut infections
Thursday Oct 03, 2013 | by Marilynn Marchione for The Associated Press
see here for complete article http://www.newsdaily.com/article/287b70a5f90b89172bea934859f7d7f4/pills-made-from-poop-cure-serious-gut-infections
Pills made from healthy people’s poop can cure serious bowel infections, doctors report
Doctors have found a way to put healthy people’s poop into pills that can cure serious gut infections ”” a less yucky way to do “fecal transplants.” Canadian researchers tried this on 27 patients and cured them all after strong antibiotics failed to help.
It’s a disgusting topic but a serious problem. Half a million Americans get Clostridium difficile, or C-diff, infections each year, and about 14,000 die. The germ causes nausea, cramping and diarrhea so bad it is often disabling. A very potent and pricey antibiotic can kill C-diff but also destroys good bacteria that live in the gut, leaving it more susceptible to future infections.
Recently, studies have shown that fecal transplants ”” giving infected people stool from a healthy donor ”” can restore that balance. But they’re given through expensive, invasive procedures like colonoscopies or throat tubes. Doctors also have tried giving the stool through enemas but the treatment doesn’t always take hold.
There even are YouTube videos on how to do a similar treatment at home via an enema. A study in a medical journal of a small number of these “do-it-yourself” cases suggests the approach is safe and effective.
Dr. Thomas Louie, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary, devised a better way ”” a one-time treatment custom-made for each patient……..
The hope is “we could administer that as a probiotic in a pill form,” Donskey said.
Louie sees potential for the poop pills for other people with out-of-whack gut bacteria, such as hospitalized patients vulnerable to antibiotic-resistant germs.
“This approach, to me, has wide application in medicine,” he said. “So it’s not just about C-diff.”