Someone else’s poo could save your life!
More than 1000 people a year are hospitalised with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Western Australia alone, and the number is rising. Now WA doctors are aiming to collect human poo for a treatment that cures CDI in 90% of cases.
CDI is a potentially fatal infection of the large intestine that kills around 14,000 people a year in the USA. Between 5-10% of people have the CD bacterium in their bowel without experiencing any symptoms, but it can bloom out of control, often after antibiotic use.
Researchers at the Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth have trialled faecal microbiota transplantations (FMT) – a treatment that involves placing poo from healthy people into the bowel of CDI patients. The success rate for the treatment is 90%, and now researchers are planning a bank of stool samples for transplantation.
The WA Gut Microbiome Bank will strictly screen donors to ensure they have good gut health, are not overweight or suffering from type 2 diabetes.
In addition to CDI, the bank will help researchers trialling faecal transplants in cases of recurrent urinary tract infections, autism and obesity.
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