Fighting infection with a pill derived from human feces

- The U.S. has an epidemic of different types of anti-biotic resistant bacteria, according to Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious disease expert at Northwell Health. Antibiotics just aren't working anymore, which is a health risk.

Dr. Hirsch is concerned that someone could develop a bacterial infection that cannot be fought with antibiotics. So researchers have turned to human feces as a treatment.

Dr. Hirsch said the idea that something from human waste could be more effective than a pharmaceutical antibiotic is "mindboggling." Bacteria from human feces is put into a capsule and is recently being used to treat a severe form of diarrhea caused by C. difficile. Dr. Hirsch said that people with C. diff can get very sick. Complications from C. diff kill 29,000 people every year.

But doctors have now found that the fecal transplant pill is a successful treatment. Dr. Hirsch said that the fecal pill has a 90-percent or more cure rate for the infection.

Bacteria from human fecal matter is also being studied as therapy for irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, other bacterial infections, and depression, Dr. Hirsch said. He said the research is promising.

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