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IDWeek 2013: Fecal Transplantation in a Pill?

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The Particulars: Studies have suggested that fecal transplantation is effective in about 90% of patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). This treatment strategy involves rebalancing the bacteria in the gut. Introduction of gut bacteria via a less invasive approach may be more comfortable for patients, less expensive, and more effective than fecal transplantation.

Data Breakdown: Patients with at least four bouts of CDI participated in a study to test if gelatin capsules containing fecal bacteria could serve as an alternative to fecal transplantation for recurrent CID. Patients in the study ingested 24 to 34 gelatin capsules containing fecal bacteria, most of which were donated by family members. No patients in the analysis had a recurrence of CDI, and patient satisfaction with the method was high.

Take Home Pearl: A capsule containing fecal bacteria appears to be an effective, less-invasive alternative to fecal transplantation for treating recurrent CDI.

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