Fecal matter transplant cures bacterial infection

Source: CNN, September 2012

A fecal transplant from mother to daughter helped save the life of a young woman who couldn’t fight off the effects of a life-threatening bacterial infection. Using a stool sample from Hunter’s mother, doctors pumped a diluted form of fecal matter into Hunter’s colon.

The battle began when Kaitlin Hunter was hospitalized following a car accident. In addition to treating her injuries, doctors prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection, a common course of treatment. But it’s believed the antibiotics also killed off beneficial bacteria in Hunter’s colon, allowing a dangerous type of bacteria called C. diff to thrive. This bacteria kills about 14,000 people in the United States every year.  

Soon after she was sent home from the hospital following her car accident, Hunter started suffering from severe stomach pain. Over the course of the next year, Hunter dropped 40 pounds while undergoing nine rounds of antibiotic treatment in an effort to control the persistent infection.

Finally, her doctor was given approval for a “fecal matter transplant.” The procedure worked, allowing healthy bacteria to recolonize the colon and ending Hunter’s nearly year-long battle with infection. The procedure is 91% effective and is predicted to become more popular in treating C. diff infections.