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Fecal Transplants in the “Good Old Days”

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I had a conversation with some colleagues last week about “personalized medicine,” which has been transformed now into the term “precision medicine.” The conversation revolved around what to do about the perceived effects of antibiotic treatment on the microbiota of individuals. How does one treat a patient without disrupting their microbiota? Do we create new classes of antimicrobials that target only a precise pathogen? I opined that I thought the day was coming when all individuals might have the microbiota from each anatomic site preserved so that it could be reconstituted after some catastrophic disruption caused by antimicrobial therapy for an infection, transplantation, surgery etc. The topic of fecal transplantation and how successful it has been for the treatment of intractable Clostridium difficle infection then came up. Would fecal reconstitution really work?

I answered truthfully that I did not know, but my experience many years ago led me to believe it would. One of the people in this conversation, John Mekalanos, no stranger to stools, asked when I participated in a fecal transplantation study. It occurs to me that my experience in this study it might be of interest, or at least titillate, those who read this blog.

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