July 23, 2009

Colon bug assailed by fecal transplant

Some Oklahoma City doctors have begun giving fecal transplants to combat possibly deadly superbugs found in patients' colons, hospital officials say.

The procedure is reported well known in other countries but new to the United States.

Integris Baptist Medical Center doctors recently gave fecal transplants to three patients suffering from Clostridium difficile, also known as C-diff, the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitals and nursing homes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the ailment leads to several thousand deaths a year, The Oklahoman reported.

The transplant involves taking human waste from a healthy person and injecting it via colonoscopy into a person with C-diff. Many people with C-diff are older and became ill after they get antibiotics for other infections.

Some countries have had considerable success with fecal transplants, notably Australia, which said it had almost a 90 percent success rate.