Breakthrough: Miracle treatment could wipe out a deadly disease … but it’s gross

Breakthrough: Miracle treatment could wipe out a deadly disease … but it’s gross

C. diff kills thousands of people every year, but scientists think they've found a way to battle it head on.

A groundbreaking new discovery could potentially save thousands of lives, but the new treatment is definitely a little gross.

Scientists think that a stool transplant could help fight a condition called ulcerative colitis caused by the Clostridium difficile bacteria, or C. diff. Colitis caused by C. diff is a very unpleasant disease in the gut that results in flu-like symptoms and inflammatory bowel problems. It affects 700,000 people, and results in an estimated 29,000 deaths each year.

Scientists said the new results indicate that transferring fecal matter from healthy donors into patients — basically, borrowing somebody else’s poop — will alter the composition of gut bacteria and therefore prevent one of the drivers of ulcerative colitis, according to a Digestive Disease Week statement.

Stool treatments are typically only used for extremely virulent strains of C. diff that are often life-threatening.

Scientists examined 81 patients with the disease who had been resistant to standard treatments. Forty-one of them received repeated fecal transplants over eight weeks, with the rest getting a placebo.

After eight weeks, 27 percent of the patients who got stool transplants achieved the goal set by the study of no ulcerative colitis symptoms, whereas just 8 percent — 3 patients — in the placebo group reported the same.



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