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Fecal Transplant for C. difficile Colitis

Here's an interesting study on the power of probiotics. An increasingly difficult challenge for doctors worldwide, are patients who suffer from prolonged colitis (inflammation of the colon's lining) from a Clostridium difficile infection, despite receiving oral antibiotic therapy, often for months. Unlike most treatments for C. difficile infection (CDI), fecal transplantation (the process of implanting a donor's fecal flora into a patient) is said to be remarkably effective in eradicating disease, but most of the published evidence for its success is anecdotal.

Now, researchers in Finland have published the largest study to date investigating fecal transplantation in patients with CDI. The investigators reviewed data from 70 adults who had received up to 12 courses of antibiotics for CDI; most had received 3 to 6 courses. Most stool donors were close relatives of the patient.

Three months post-transplantation, 66 of the 70 patients reported complete resolution of symptoms. The four who did not respond all had the 027 strain of C. difficile -- a virulent strain -- as well as other serious medical illnesses. In the year following transplantation, four additional patients relapsed; two were treated successfully with antibiotics, and two received another fecal transplant. No complications of transplantation were reported.

Other studies on probiotics--administered orally--also show promise against C. difficile...no sh*t required.

Source: Fecal transplantation, through colonoscopy, is effective therapy for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection

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  1. Evidence for oral probiotics.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15880313 (prebiotic)


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  3. I find this quite interesting.
    For a long time I have taught my students on the use of antibiotics to manage CDI. It would be nice to review the journal article in which the results of fecal transplantation are presented... before I include it in my notes. Has this been published?

    1. Yes, link/source at the bottom of the article :)


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