Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Synthetic stool can cure C. difficile infection, study suggests

Date:
January 8, 2013
Source:
University of Guelph
Summary:
A newly developed synthetic "poop" can cure nasty gastrointestinal infections caused by Clostridium difficile, a toxin-producing bacterium, a new study suggests.

A synthetic "poop" developed at the University of Guelph can cure nasty gastrointestinal infections caused by Clostridium difficile, a toxin-producing bacterium.

A study on the artificial stool was published January 8 in the inaugural issue of Microbiome, a new peer-reviewed science journal.

The stool -- a "super-probiotic" called RePOOPulate -- was created by Guelph microbiologist Emma Allen-Vercoe to replace human fecal matter used in stool transplants, a known treatment for C. difficile.

She made the super-probiotic from purified intestinal bacterial cultures grown in "Robo-gut" equipment in a Guelph laboratory that mimics the environment of the large intestine.

Besides offering an effective therapy against the deadly superbug, the artificial poop is safer, more stable and adaptable, and less "icky" than treatments for C. difficile infection such as fecal bacteriotherapy, the study said.

"It's an exciting finding," said Allen-Vercoe, a professor in Guelph's Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

She worked on the project with lead researchers Dr. Elaine Petrof, an infectious disease specialist at Kingston General Hospital and a professor at Queen's University, and Gregory Gloor, a biochemistry professor at the University of Western Ontario. Guelph pathobiology professor Scott Weese and researcher Michelle Daigneault were also involved.

C. difficile can overpopulate the colon when antibiotics kill healthy gut bacteria. C. difficile infection causes many gastrointestinal problems, including severe diarrhea, and often leads to outbreaks in hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Few treatments exist for people with recurring C. difficile infections. Stool transplants are among the more effective therapies, but human fecal matter may contain unknown pathogens, Allen-Vercoe said. "That puts people at risk for future disease."

Stool transplants are also limited by lack of acceptance among patients and health-care facilities and lack of standardized treatment regimens.

Using synthetic poop for transplants eliminates the risk of transmitting an infectious disease through fecal bacteria because "the exact composition of the bacteria administered is known and can be controlled," Allen-Vercoe said.

The method may be modified to suit individual patient needs, is easily reproduced, and is more appealing to many patients and physicians, she said.

The researchers tested RePOOPulate on two patients with chronic C. difficile infections who had previously failed to respond to several rounds of antibiotics. After treatment with the synthetic poop, both were symptom-free within three days and tested negative for C. difficile six months later.

As well, later microbial profiles of both patients showed that some features of the synthetic stool stabilized in their colons. "In other words, the introduced microbes were able to persist," Allen-Vercoe said. "This is important because most commercially available probiotics only colonize transiently."

Allen-Vercoe hopes doctors will one day use the RePOOPulate concept to treat other GI conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity and even autism by replacing abnormal gut microbial ecosystems.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Guelph. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Guelph. "Synthetic stool can cure C. difficile infection, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108201651.htm>.
University of Guelph. (2013, January 8). Synthetic stool can cure C. difficile infection, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108201651.htm
University of Guelph. "Synthetic stool can cure C. difficile infection, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108201651.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins