Study: Using Human Stool to Treat C-diff is Safe, Effective

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DETROIT—A novel therapy that uses donated human stool to treat the deadly and contagious C.diff infection is safe and highly effective, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

Researchers found that 43 of 49 patients recovered swiftly after treatment and had no adverse complications from C.diff three months later. Treatment is performed either through a nasogastric tube or colonscopy on an outpatient or inpatient basis.

Mayur Ramesh, MD, a Henry Ford Infectious Diseases physician and senior author of the study, says the treatment, while appearing unconventional, has striking results.

“More than 90 percent of the patients in our study were cured of their C.diff infection," said Dr. Ramesh. “This treatment is a viable option for patients who are not responding to conventional treatment and who want to avoid surgery."

The study is being presented Friday at the annual Infectious Diseases Society of America meeting in San Diego.

In their study, researchers evaluated 49 patients who contracted Clostridium difficile, or C.diff, a germ that causes diarrhea and other intestinal problems and is linked to 14,000 deaths annually. Symptoms include water diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal pain and tenderness. C.diff occurs in patients taking antibiotics, and can spread from person-to-person contact or from touching contaminated equipment and objects like door knobs.

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