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Feces may help cure bacterial infection

Category: General Health

According to MyHealthNewsDaily, a new treatment in which feces is mixed with warm water and put into a patient's colon using a tube was effective in treating an infection known as Clostridium difficile bacteria (C. diff) in a study conducted at Henry Ford Hospital.

During research, the treatment was tested on 49 people, and 46 of the patients made a recovery within a week.

"C. diff is a serious infection — people die from this. With this treatment, the cure rate is close to 100 percent," research author Dr. Mayur Ramesh told the news source.

The fecal transplant proved to be more effective than the antibiotics etronidazole or vancomycin, which are usually used to treat the infection. In some cases, when patients don't respond to antibiotics and the C. diff infection becomes severe, part of the intestine needs to be surgically removed. Also, according to Ramesh, 25 to 30 percent of people who receive antibiotics experience a recurrence of infection, but only four of the 46 people who had the fecal transplant had signs of an infection during their follow-up period.

While other research has shown the transplants' effectiveness in treating C. diff, this study differed because nearly one-third of the patients had severe infections. Ramesh told MyHealthNewsDaily that some of the participants would have died or had to have their colon removed were it not for the treatment.

Four patients in the study died, but according to the news source, it was due to cancer they had before the study started, not the C. diff.

About C. diff

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), C. diff, which can be detected with a lab test, has a fatality rate of nearly 14,000 Americans a year. Some of the symptoms include watery bowel movements that occur at least three times a day, fever, loss of appetite and nausea.

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