In the US alone, more than 500,000 suffer and 15,000 die every year from uncontrollable diarrhea caused by infection with Clostridium difficile. These rod-shaped bacteria are commonly found in the environment and even in our bodies, but have lately become a major concern in hospitals where antibiotics leave patients without the natural flora that protect their bodies. When C. difficile populations grow unchecked, toxins produced by the bacteria cause inflammation and cell death.
With more and more strains of C. difficile becoming resistant to antibiotics, doctors have had to find creative ways to treat the infection. One of the most promising (if not revolting) treatments that has been tested in recent years is called fecal bacteriotherapy or ‘stool transplant’, which involves taking donor poop from a healthy patient and inserting it into the gut of an infected one as a form of probiotics, seeking to replace the protective flora.
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