Because some people suffer chronic c difficile doctors are using a new therapy to dislodge the disruptive c diff from their intestine. Fecal matter from a family member is often sought so that the material entering their system is reflective of local stomach flora. This is then turned into a liquid slurry and inserted into the body to colonise the intestine. This therapy is sometimes known as Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT)
Time will tell whether this then introduces a new balance in the intestine and returns to the system bacteria depleted by antibiotic treatment, which in normal circumstances would combat the c diff anyway. It is by no means clear as yet exactly how the cure takes place in specific biological terms – but the general theory that recolonizing the colon with healthy bacteria will reverse the c difficile seems to be true. Some research indicates that the reintroduction of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes elements are part of the cure.
The fecal matter is inserted into the intestine in one of 3 ways. Via a duodenal tube, a rectal tube or colonoscopy. The colonoscopy is favoured as the whole of the colon can be recolonized and the extent of the infection can be clarified during the process. The cure may happen within hours or a few days.
This is a not a new therapy, but it has been a rare one until the recent mushrooming of c difficile infections. It has not gone to widespread clinical trials yet although some are planned, with one underway in Norway. There is extensive anecdotal evidence however and you can find several articles on our sister site (c-diff.net) by clicking here .
Success rates of 97% have been noted and those for whom it does not work are often those with severe colitis. Overall a cure rate of 89% in 275 cases from a round the world has been noted. Initial research also suggest that a small minority who have further c diff infections have been reinfected from another source