autoimmune research, microbiome

What Can Your Poop Do For You?

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With antibiotic resistance on the rise, we are in dire need for alternative treatments. Today we discuss one therapy in particular, Fecal Transplants. In this post we will reference different journal articles, blogs, and studies to give you a better idea of what this new therapy is all about.


Early Evidence in Crohns
A remarkable study was released earlier this month in the Journal of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases! Fecal microbial transplants from healthy (non-infected) adults were administered to nine teenagers affected with Crohn’s Disease. The results were astonishing – 7 of the 9 teens went into remission and 5 of them are still in remission 3 months post-treatment! This only begins to show the potential therapeutic effects the microbiome may hold.

Other Early Evidence
Scientists are beginning to uncover the vast potential of Fecal Microbiota Transplantations or FMTs. While it is already used to treat C. difficile, FMTs could possibly treat inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, anorexia, autoimmunity, food allergies, as well as neurodegenerative disorders. With strides in research and clinical trials, scientists will hopefully be able unleash the FMT’s full potential!

Systematic Approaches Needed
Elaine Petrof and Alexander Khoruts examine two systematic approaches for Fecal Microbiota Therapy. One examines the full microbial spectrum of the donor stool while the other is specific microorganisms grown in vitro. This will allow scientists to isolate which microorganisms are imperative for a healthy microbiome.

A Stool Donation Opportunity
Open Biome’s James Burgess and Mark Smith have opened America’s first public “poop bank”! Fecal transplants can cure 90% of patients suffering from C. difficile, a bacteria that leads to diarrhea, fever, nausea, and causes 14,000 to 30,000 deaths a year. Donors undergo an extensive interview process and laboratory tests on their blood and stool before their donations are delivered to hospitals nationwide. See if your stool passes the test and learn more about how you can donate!

Food for Thought:
How can citizen science speed up the Fecal Transplant clinical trials in other autoimmune diseases?

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