Yuck Factor

Gee, you think?

Once a year, every year, Professor Thomas Borody receives a single-stem rose from one of his most grateful patients. She is, he says, thanking him for restoring her bowel flora.

It’s a distasteful cure for a problem that’s increasingly widespread: the Clostridium difficile bug, typically caught by patients in hospitals and nursing homes, can be hard to treat with antibiotics. But Borody is one of a group of scientists who believe the answer is a faecal transplant.

Some jokily call it a “transpoosion.” Others have more sciencey names like “bacteriotherapy” or “stool infusion therapy.” But the process involves, frankly, replacing a person’s poo with someone else’s, and in the process, giving them back the “good” bugs they desperately need.

There’s little doubt this treatment has an image problem. Faeces, including important bowel flora, is transferred from a volunteer donor — screened to limit possible other infections — into the colon of the infected patient. The treatment can be administered by a colonoscope or an enema, or by the mouth or the nose.

Erm. It seems very unhygienic. Especially the last two options. Or the whole idea. I understand the concept, but am not sure I’d be able to get past the yuck factor on this one…

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4 Responses to Yuck Factor

  1. Maggie says:

    Gives whole new meaning to “bug up the—” … um, ya know …

  2. Gaius says:

    Or to eat ….

    You get the idea

  3. Bonzer Wolf says:

    Holy S***!

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  4. BadBob says:

    Well, our generation has always advised that we metaphorically “get our s*** together” … apparently now it’s become a literal reality

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