advertisement-vertical Download Proto magazine app
Social Icons

A Gutsy Procedure

Evidence for fecal transplants as effective treatment for stubborn C. diff. infections.

FALL 2013

4th Century of the first record of fecal transplants being used to cure stomach bugs in China

100,000 Approximate number of deaths in the United States each year in which Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that infects the gut and causes antibiotic-associated diarrhea and a host of other complications, is a contributing factor

15 out of 16 Number of people with recurring C. difficile infections (CDIs) cured with fecal transplants—the process of transplanting stool from a healthy individual to the gut of someone with a CDI to re-establish a stable microbial community—in addition to antibiotics, in a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine

4 out of 13 Number of people with recurring CDIs cured with antibiotics only, in the same study

100 trillion Number of native micro-organisms in the colon

100 billion Typical number of bacteria in a milliliter of stool

3 Number of months in 2013 during which the Food and Drug Administration required physicians wishing to perform a fecal transplant to submit an investigational new drug application; the requirement was repealed in July in the face of evidence that the therapy worked

94 Percentage of CDIs examined in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infections Program data from 2010 that were acquired in health care or nursing facilities

Protomag on Facebook Protomag on Twitter