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Fecal 'Transplant' to Cure Gut Infection?
Date:1/16/2013

one, according to Dr. Ciaran Kelly, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the author of an editorial accompanying the research. Previous reports have been simple case studies, which are considered less conclusive.

C. difficile is the most commonly identified cause of hospital-acquired infectious diarrhea in the United States, according to Kelly.

The process of giving and receiving a stool donation is relatively simple. Study author Keller said participants typically asked family members to donate part of a bowel movement, thinking it would be more comfortable to receive such a donation of such a substance from someone they knew. Some anonymous donors were also involved.

Keller explained that donors can be of any age, and do not need to be related to the recipient. Donor stool does need to be free of any infectious diseases and parasites, and the donor's blood must also be screened.

The stool mixture, which was described by Keller as looking something like chocolate milk, can be given into the intestinal tract in three different ways. It can be given by colonoscopy, through a nasal-duodenal tube that is threaded out of the stomach into the upper duodenum, or by enema. Kelly said the procedure is currently done at about 50 centers now in the United States, typically using the colonoscopy method.

In the study, conducted at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, investigators randomly assigned the patients to three groups and compared the infusion of donor stool after vancomycin therapy and bowel cleansing (lavage) with either just vancomycin therapy or with just bowel lavage.

So why has "fecal transplantation," as some people call it, not taken off? Before this study was published, there was a lack of data from randomized, controlled trials to prove it works, Kelly said. Also holding the procedure back, he added, was that the very idea of taking someone's stool into your body was unappealing, and the f
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