Fecal transplant could come in a pill

Earlier this year, when the news hit that fecal transplants could effectively treat gut diseases, millions of people couldn’t help but click on the headlines, despite the gross-out factor. Persistent bacterial infections in the intestine could be treated via an enema using healthy gut bacteria. 

The success stories started to roll out, about parents and patients who took it on themselves to perform the labor-intensive (and ultra-personal) treatment for diseases like bacterial infections, which can be highly antibiotic resistant, and immune system diseases like Crohn’s disease. Finally, the FDA got involved, deciding fecal transplants constitute a drug, and would be regulated. 

This week, Thomas Louie, an infectious disease researcher at the University of Calgary offered another success story. Presenting at IDWeek, Louie explained how he put a cocktail of beneficial bacteria in a pill for a patient who couldn’t accept a regular fecal transplant. He expanded it into a full study, successfully treating 27 patients with Clostridium difficile infections over a year.

It’s not pretty to think about, but it’s better than the alternative: Nature described it as “less invasive than other techniques.” But barriers remain, as the capsules are several steps from FDA approval, so they’re not yet ready to replace the manual method.

Solution News Source

Fecal transplant could come in a pill

Earlier this year, when the news hit that fecal transplants could effectively treat gut diseases, millions of people couldn’t help but click on the headlines, despite the gross-out factor. Persistent bacterial infections in the intestine could be treated via an enema using healthy gut bacteria. 

The success stories started to roll out, about parents and patients who took it on themselves to perform the labor-intensive (and ultra-personal) treatment for diseases like bacterial infections, which can be highly antibiotic resistant, and immune system diseases like Crohn’s disease. Finally, the FDA got involved, deciding fecal transplants constitute a drug, and would be regulated. 

This week, Thomas Louie, an infectious disease researcher at the University of Calgary offered another success story. Presenting at IDWeek, Louie explained how he put a cocktail of beneficial bacteria in a pill for a patient who couldn’t accept a regular fecal transplant. He expanded it into a full study, successfully treating 27 patients with Clostridium difficile infections over a year.

It’s not pretty to think about, but it’s better than the alternative: Nature described it as “less invasive than other techniques.” But barriers remain, as the capsules are several steps from FDA approval, so they’re not yet ready to replace the manual method.

Solution News Source

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