Alberta Study Using Fecal Capsules to Treat C. Difficile

Clinical trials in Alberta have shown that C. difficile can be effectively treated by oral fecal transfer.

Fecal transfer, also known as fecal transplantation and fecal transplantation, involves taking the stool of a healthy person to treat bowel problems, such as inflammatory diseases or infections with C. difficile.

Fecal grafts, which are becoming more widespread, are normally done in two ways: either with capsules administered orally or through a colonoscopy. The scientific literature currently available, however, encourages physicians to turn to colonoscopy, even if the procedure is much more invasive for the patient.

However, gastroenterologist Dina Kao, who has supervised a series of clinical trials comparing the two methods at the University of Alberta Hospital , says that the way fecal matter is administered has no influence on the patients. results.

“This is only the beginning, obviously we need more research because our sample is small […], but our work shows that taking tablets is no worse than having a colonoscopy”, he said. she explained by adding that the success rates are similar for both methods.

Fecal transfer, also known as fecal transplantation and fecal transplantation, involves taking the stool of a healthy person to treat bowel problems, such as inflammatory diseases or infections with C. difficile.

It is also possible to treat C. difficile with antibiotics, but they are often so powerful that they eventually destroy the good bacteria, increasing the risk of developing the infection chronically.

In clinical trials, participants infected with the bacteria swallowed about 40 capsules in one hour. Capsules used for faecal transfers are usually well isolated so that patients do not inadvertently chew or dissolve before reaching the intestine.

Karen Shandro took part in the clinical study after experiencing three episodes of C. difficile infection in two months.

“I agreed to participate in the study because after several infections [and inconclusive treatments] I was at the stage of taking vancomycin, a very very expensive drug that is associated with significant side effects like kidney disease, “she said.

“I heard about this alternative treatment. I found the process fascinating and was impressed by the rate of treatment success, “she added.

After a random selection process, Ms. Shandro was placed in the group of patients who were administered capsules. “I had a colonoscopy before, but this time I had the capsules. I was blown away by the result, I was back on my feet so quickly. I did not have anesthesia, I had an enema which was much easier than colonoscopy, “she said.

Dr. Kao believes that it will take a long time for researchers to pinpoint the exact causes of C. difficile and the process by which fecal absorption counteracts the development of the bacteria.

The gastroenterologist warns the public against the overconsumption of antibiotics. “Antibiotics sometimes cause more harm than good. We often talk to our patients and find out that they are using antibiotics when it is not necessary [or prescribed], “she said.

The findings of the work of Ms. Kao and her team were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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About the Author: Lisa McIntyre

Lisa is a reporter covering all things disease, medicine and natural remedies. Lisa holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition.

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