'Poop Transplants' Can Transmit Deadly Superbugs, FDA Warns

Live Science | 6/14/2019 | Staff
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"Poop transplants" have shown promise in treating severe diarrhea, but now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that these transplants may risk spreading superbugs.

On Thursday (June 13), the FDA announced that two people who underwent this procedure, known medically as fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), contracted serious drug-resistant infections and one of those patients died.

Donor - Stool - Type - Bacteria - Transplants

The donor's stool hadn't been tested for this type of bacteria prior to the transplants. After the two transplant recipients developed infections, the donor stool was tested and found to be positive for the same drug-resistant bacteria seen in the patients.

FMT is considered an experimental treatment for Clostridium difficile, a bacterial infection that causes severe diarrhea and can be life-threatening. The procedure aims to restore a better balance of bacteria within the gut. It involves taking fecal matter from a healthy donor and delivering it into a patient's colon, either directly, through an enema or other infusion of stool, or with the use of "poop pills," capsules containing fecal matter that patients take by mouth.

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