“Faecal Transplant for recurrent C. difficile Infection: An idea not to be sniffed at…”

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrates the usefulness of faecal transfer/transplant for treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection.

Although anecdotal reports and case studies had suggested that this therapy was effective, this is the first randomised controlled trial that has been done on the treatment.

This treatment modality has been around for at least 20 years. However there are probably a few reasons why faecal transplant for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection has never really gained widespread popularity and acceptance:

1)Compared with giving a medication, it is quite a lot of work to find donors, screen donor stool, screen donor blood, prepare the donor stool etc etc.

2)Except in very large hospitals, the number of patients with Clostridium difficile infection who don’t resolve with one or two courses of conventional therapy (oral metronidazole or vancomycin) will actually be quite small.

3)Lastly is the fact that some patients and more worryingly, some doctors, find the nature of the treatment “off-putting”.

I hope that the publication of this research will encourage hospitals to develop standard protocols for this type of therapy so that it can be used when needed, instead of just being thought about.

Personally if I was suffering the unpleasant symptoms of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection, I would not hesitate to get a donor stool infusion to get things sorted out.

Michael

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