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Poo transplants show promise, but needs careful monitoring

FROM THE GUT: The use of faecal transplants to treat severe infections has rapidly become the treatment of choice, say experts.
FROM THE GUT: The use of faecal transplants to treat severe infections has rapidly become the treatment of choice, say experts. Contributed

THE use of faecal transplants to treat severe infections has rapidly become the treatment of choice.

Faecal transplants outperform antibiotics according to a review of evidence by UK researchers.

The procedure, which is not for the squeamish, involves introducing a liquidised stool (or frozen microbes) from a healthy donor to the bowel of a patient to re-colonise their gut with healthy bacteria.

The review found an 85% success rate with faecal transplants compared with only 20% success for standard antibiotic treatment.

Gut microbes play a key role in our immune systems and health - and transplanting faecal matter from one person to another is increasingly being used to control severe life-threatening infections like recurrent Clostridium difficile that kill thousands of people annually.

Australian regulators are yet to make a decision on the use of faecal transplants, however private clinics are already offering the procedure.


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