Pills made out of human feces or "poop" may be the key to cure serious gut infections that kill thousands and afflicts more than 500,000 people every year.
Would you swallow a human poop pill? Pills made out of human feces or “poop” may be the key to cure serious gut infections that kill thousands and afflicts more than 500,000 people every year.
A team of researchers from Canada is already testing the human poop pills on patients suffering from multiple infections of Clostridium difficile. They were treated with antibiotics but did not respond to the drugs.
The patients were given pills containing "fecal microbes" from a family member. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one of the patients during testing of human poop pills had a recurrence.
Lead author of the study and Canada's University of Calgary medicine professor Thomas Louie said that the patient who had a recurrence was treated with antibiotics for a different infection. Professor Louie presented his findings at a conference for infectious diseases in San Francisco on Oct. 3.
Most people would balk at the thought of taking human "poop" pills but Mr Louie said it is something that humans should get over since it's "quite primordial."
Clostridium difficile is a type of bacterial infection that may cause diarrhea and increase the risk for a serious inflammation of the colon. Patients may have a bacterial infection after taking antibiotics to treat another infection.
The Canadian researchers used the feces or "poop" of family members since their fecal matter will be more likely a closer match with the patient's intestinal bacteria. Researchers processed the feces until only the bacteria remains. Patients were also tested for any signs of other pathogens and blood-borne diseases.
The bacteria from the feces is stored in gelatin capsules which researchers say takes about 60 to 90 minutes to dissolve. Patients with serious gut infections usually take 24 to 34 capsules. The number of human poop pills will depend on their body weight. Mr Louie said the capsules containing fecal bacteria will dissolve in the patient's lower bowel.
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