Patients with a C.diff infection are typically treated with the antibiotics metronidazole or vancomycin. However, surgery could be required to remove the infected part of the intestines. In its study, Henry Ford treated patients between May 2010 and June 2012 with a therapy called intestinal microbiota transplantation (IMT), using donated stool from a healthy family member.
Dr. Ramesh said the healthy stool, when mixed with warm tap water and administered, helps to re-establish the normal intestinal flora in the patient’s gastrointestinal tract. Intestinal flora is healthy bacteria that stimulates the immune system and aids the digestion and absorption of food.
“Patients who receive treatment through a nasogastric tube don’t taste or smell the stool mixture as it’s administered," Dr. Ramesh said. “Patients often resume their diet within a couple hours and are feeling better within 24 hours."
Of the 49 patients, 43 fully recovered, four died of causes unrelated to C.diff, one had intestinal surgery and one had no improvement.
The study was funded by Henry Ford Hospital.
To read more about fecal transplants, read the EndoNurse article Fecal Transplant: An Up-and-Coming Cure for Recurrent C. diff.