Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a bacteria that causes severe diarrhea, and to cure it, you gotta fight fire with fire.
All the cool kids are doing it. (via Thinkstock)
90% of patients suffering from C. diff can be treated with regular antibiotics. For the other 10%, survival prospects are less hopeful: over one-third die from extreme weakness.
Now, Professor Peter Hawkey and his team from Birmingham University's School of Immunity and Infection in the U.K have developed a new method for treating this population, which is greatly increasing their odds of survival.
Professor Hawkey, probably gearing up to tell someone what he's about to do to them. (via BBC)
The treatment involves taking feces from donors, storing them at -112 degrees Fahrenheit, filtering them through a sterile solution, and then giving them to patients via a tube that goes into their nose and all the way through to their stomach. What the procedure basically does is replace the Clostridium bacteria with new, "good" bacteria. Even though it sounds like a pretty far-out approach, it was practiced by the Chinese thousands of years ago.
I'm scared of needles, so I'd actually prefer donating shit instead of blood. (via BBC)
The scientists using the treatment claim that it has a 90% success rate. They've treated more than 60 patients, and Hawkey claims they've "saved 20 lives, possibly more." Even though it sounds super gross, according to Hawkey:
"It looks like black coffee. They don't taste it, they don't vomit. It is very straightforward."
Why'd you have to ruin my afternoon cup of joe?