Novel Solution For Serious Bacterial Infection

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A scanning electron micrograph of Clostridium difficile, bacteria that the CDC's new report on antibiotic resistant bacteria calls an "urgent threat." (CDC via Wikipedia)
A scanning electron micrograph of Clostridium difficile. (CDC via Wikipedia)

A Canadian doctor has found a novel solution to a very serious medical problem — treating serious bacterial infections in the gut that sickens up to half a million Americans a year, and kills more than 14,000 of them.

The bacteria is called Clostridium difficile — or C.diff for short — and the solution has to do with taking feces from a healthy donor, removing everything but their healthy bugs, putting the material into a gelatin capsule, and swallowing.

While the "poop pill" as it's been called, doesn't sound appealing, it's had a nearly 100 percent success rate in the first 27 patients who have been treated using the novel approach.

Dr. Thomas Louie, an infectious disease specialist in Calgary, Alberta, pioneered the treatment as a solution for a patient for whom he could think of no other solution.


This segment aired on October 17, 2013.


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