Eeeeeeww. Well if it's an effective cure...

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    Nov 15, 2007 11:52 AM GMT
    I guess we can get over it!

    http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2007/11/13/fecal-transplant.html icon_eek.gif

    I saw the news item on TV last night too. C. difficile is an exceptionally awful bug to get stuck in one's gut, and has been particularly troublesome for seniors. Somehow there's an extra level of "grossness" to the concept of fecal transplants - but if one's life is on the line it beats removing the colon or other drastic medicine... I guess not all healing is "neat and tidy". icon_lol.gif

    What I find really interesting is how this shows the careful application of a biological solution can turn out to be superior than the (usual and wreckless) use of chemical antibiotics.

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    Nov 15, 2007 5:48 PM GMT
    I guess if one get's c. difficile, it's easy to see who gives a shit.
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    Nov 15, 2007 6:17 PM GMT
    I remember watching a program on Parasites (used to study these), and there was a lady with severe Crohns disease - an auto immune disease that causes problems in the intestines. She was facing a colonoscopy but they were trying a new regime of taking intestinal worms.

    The belief being that 1) The immune system woud have something to fight - so would cause less problems to the body. 2) the worms have evolved in parallel with the immune system of their host - so they produce anti-immune factors that would also lessen the impact in the gut.

    Sounds gross to infect yourself (and keep reinfecting) with worms - but a lot easier option than the alternative.
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    Nov 15, 2007 7:50 PM GMT
    That's kind of an extreme method, but the normal way that intestinal biota gets established is through the fecal/oral route, which is even more disgusting, if you think about it.

    In fact, that's how the oral polio vaccine works in places like Haitian slums. You do catch-and-release on a fraction of the rugrats, and they then spread it amongst themselves through fecal contamination.
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    Nov 16, 2007 5:35 AM GMT
    The bug can be very difficult to get rid of at times, and as commented in the article I know of a Norwegian gastroenterologist, currently in the US, who told me that they used the method many times with good success.