Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Putting other people's poo in your butt

...for bona fide medical reasons, of course. If your intestine has been invaded by nasty bacteria, it's important to restore a healthy in-ass ecosystem. This can be a difficult process, as the antibiotics used to kill the invading bacteria also kill the helpful bacteria that form part of the healthy "gut environment". Apparently, there is a clever, if somewhat icky, way to jump-start the rebuilding of a normal up-the-butt environment:
What if, instead of re-constitituing healthy gut flora one species at a time, you could simply take the entire fecal contents from a healthy person and use it to re-colonize your own gut--in other words, undergo a fecal transplant? Yes, it's like probiotics on steroids: getting an infusion of someone else's gut flora in order to re-establish a healthy gut ecology of your own, and squeeze out some potentially harmful organisms along the way. A recent story discusses this treatment for patients suffering Clostridium difficile infections in Scotland, but it's actually not brand-new, and has already surfaced in the peer-reviewed literature.
OK, don't read this part if you're eating food. It's a description of how to prepare a piece of poo for transplant:
Select a stool specimen (preferably a soft specimen) with a weight of 30 g or a volume of 2 cm^3. Add 50-70 mL of sterile 0.9 N NaCl to the stool sample and homogenize with a household blender. Initially use the low setting until the sample breaks up; then, advance the speed gradually to the highest setting. Continue for 2-4 min until the sample is smooth. Filter the suspension using a paper coffee filter. Allow adequate time for slow filtration to come to an end. Refilter the suspension, again using a paper coffee filter. As before, allow adequate time for slow filtration.
I would suggest that this "household blender" be clearly labeled as a fecal processor and not subsequently used for other purposes.


Anonymous Miguel said...


9:23 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Zachary Drake said...

What movie is that from? I remember the kid typing that in.

9:54 PM, December 19, 2007  
Anonymous Miguel said...

It's when he's in a chat room with an older woman in Me And You And Everyone We Know describing what he thinks true love is.

9:59 PM, December 19, 2007  
OpenID jdm314 said...

So, I guess this is one of those occasional abnormalities that bubble up from goodness knows where.

8:28 PM, December 21, 2007  

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