New research conducted by the University of Minnesota reports that fecal transplants have been successful in treating Clostridium difficile, a serious gut infection. Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, is an infection which causes diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, and kills thousands of people worldwide each year. Experts believe that the infection overwhelms the good bacteria that are required to maintain a healthy intestine.
The fecal transplant was developed to help in the treatment of individuals with C. diff, especially those who experienced repeat infections. Fecal matter is obtained from a donor, purified, mixed with saline solution and transferred to the patient, usually by colonoscopy.
The study looked at 14 people who had reoccurring C. diff infections. Four of the participants received fecal transplants. Study results showed that the healthy changes in the patients’ intestinal populations were sustained for up to 21 weeks after the fecal transplant. The study noted that there is not much known about the long-term stability of the fecal transplants.