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Fecal transplants prove effective - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Fecal transplants prove effective

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BRONX, N.Y. -

Tanya Boyd is about to have a procedure to treat a potentially deadly bacterial infection. "When you have this you constantly have to go to the bathroom. So you're afraid to go out to the movies, to the store," Boyd said.
 
The 49-year-old suffers from an intestinal infection called C. Difficile. The bacteria is highly resistant to antibiotics and hard to treat, so many patients are resorting to an unusual procedure called a fecal transplant.
 
"Think of stool as the ultimate probiotic," said Dr. Lawrence Brandt with the Montefiore Medical Center.

A sample from a healthy donor -- usually a family member -- is transferred to the patient during a colonoscopy. "So you are taking a community of normal bacteria and putting that normal community into the patient," Dr. Brandt said.

Many patients pick up C. Difficile at the hospital after receiving high doses of antibiotics.
 
Tanya needed two transplants after contracting C. Difficile during separate hospital stays. "I was willing to try anything because I was so sick," she said.

The FDA considers fecal transplants research, not treatment and says long-term consequences are not known. But doctors who perform the procedure say 90 percent of patients are cured  within days.

Marlie Hall - CBS News

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