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Radical new treatment for antibiotic resistant C. difficile

Due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a rise has been witnessed in C. difficile cases. Researchers are looking out for new ways to treat the infection.

Sophia Turner, Uncover California, Oct 13, 2014

Researchers are looking out for ways to treat the infection and they are not minding to try an unusual treatment like giving pills to patients having frozen feces of healthy volunteers.

Researchers shared that direct fecal transplants pass on gut microbiota from healthy donors. This method is considered to be quite promising in treating many diseases. The study was carried out by Ilan Youngster of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and colleagues.

Researchers from Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Tel Aviv University were also involved in the study. The researchers put the feces into a blender with saline and strained the mixture. In the next step, the concentrate was put into 1.6 gram capsules, which was frozen at 112 degrees below zero.

The pills were given to 20 patients having mild to moderate C. difficile infections. The volunteers took 15 pills a day for two days. The study has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), titled, 'Oral, Capsulized, Frozen Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Relapsing Clostridium difficile Infection'.

The result was the frozen pills cleared up diarrhea in 18 out of 20 patients. As per the researchers, the benefits continued to slow for up to 8 weeks after administration.

"If reproduced in future studies... these results may help make FMT accessible to a wider population of patients, in addition to potentially making the procedure safer", affirmed the authors. They also stated that more research on the topic is needed.

C. difficile can lead to chronic diarrhea, bloating and fever. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. spends around $3.2 billion each year on managing the disease. Also, the germ is responsible for around 14,000 deaths in the US annually.

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