The patients had been suffering for a mean of 11 months and many were ill enough to be in acute-care or skilled nursing facilities or homebound, Mellow said.
Dr. David Bernstein, chief of gastroenterology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., said: "It seems that this is potentially a phenomenal treatment for C. difficile infection, especially those that are refractory. This works and it's dramatic how quickly it works.
"C. difficile is becoming a greater problem in hospitals, and we're seeing more resistance and morbidity and mortality," he added.
Although it might seem difficult to find a volunteer, Bernstein felt that acceptance among patients would be high because "they've done so much already that has failed. They're desperate."
The transplants would not be first-line treatment for patients, however, Mellow said.
Researchers in Australia also reported success using FMT to treat ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease in three patients. In all cases, symptoms improved within days or weeks.
Other studies being presented at the meeting found effectiveness with probiotics, live "friendly bacteria" similar to those found naturally in the gut. The idea is similar to an FMT transplant but probiotics are generally sold as dietary supplements or come in foods such as yogurt.
The Mayo Clinic has more on Clostridium difficult.
SOURCES: Mark Mellow, M.D., medical director, Digestive Health Center, Integris Baptist Medical Center, Oklahoma City; David Bernstein, M.D., chief, gastroenterology, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.; Oct. 31, 2011, presentations, American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting, Washington, D.C.'/>"/>
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