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We probably have all heard of MR ...

Posted Nov 10 2008 4:17pm

We probably have all heard of MRSA, the staph infection that is running running through all our hospitals in the US, but there's another one to be aware of, called C diff for short.  It can exist on surfaces for months.  Canada and the UK have been in the news recently on their fight against the bug.

Science and hospitals alike are working towards eradicating the hospital acquired infection.  Here's a brief summary of what is being tried and hold your breath on the last item here, but if it saves your life, it has a whole new meaning.  BD 

Drinking Worms:

It sounds like a remedy straight out of a witch's brew: a cocktail of worm eggs, destined to hatch inside the bodies of those who swallow them.

But make no mistake, there's science behind this remedy. And doctors who are embarking on a small initial trial  of the worm egg cocktail in patients with the degenerative condition multiple sclerosis have high hopes that it will one day offer another fight against the debilitating disease. 

These findings have led to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug administration of a small trial of the therapy next month on five patients. The trial, led by University of Wisconsin Hospital neurologist Dr. John Fleming, will determine if a helminth egg cocktail will be tolerated by these patients, and perhaps relieve some of their symptoms.  But whether the treatment works or not, the simple idea of throwing back a shot of worm eggs might be revolting to some patients.


Superbugs to cure superbugs!  Not ready for prime time yet, 20 maggots for one drop of solution, I guess thank goodness maggots are in high supply.


Recycled Feces:

Donors required - last ditch effort and not for the weak at heart, but if one is on the verge of death, it doesn't sound that bad. 

IN THE annals of medical history, this could go down as one of the most effective but stomach-churning treatments ever devised.

Scientists seeking a cure for a deadly superbug have successfully treated patients using human feces. Doctors involved in the trials admit there are "obvious aesthetic problems" in the treatment, which involves patients ingesting a liquidized sample of feces from a partner or close relative.

Trials in a Scottish hospital have shown patients suffering from the Clostridium difficile bug can be cured using 'donor stool' administered via a tube through the nose into their stomach. Traditional treatment of Clostridium difficile involves the use of antibiotics. But doctors at Glasgow's Gartnavel Hospital have conducted a trial of fecal transplants' on 12 patients for whom antibiotics had failed to stop repeated bouts of the infection.

The process takes about two weeks, during which donors are screened for suitability and other treatments are tried out. The key requirement is that donors should not have recently been on antibiotics themselves.  Doctors then mix the donated feces with water to allow it to travel through a tube. Despite the positive results , doctors stress that they still regard the fecal transplant as a "last resort" because it is cumbersome and the idea of is unpleasant.

"Disease caused by Clostridium difficile can range from nuisance diarrhea to life-threatening colitis that could lead to the surgical removal of the colon, and even death," said Dr. Stuart Johnson, associate professor of medicine, division of infectious diseases, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Similar to MRSA, C-diff is an infection that is mainly acquired in a hospital or nursing home, although like MRSA there is some evidence that a community-acquired strain may be developing, according to the CDC.

The resistance of the spores to hospital cleaning agents and to alcohol hand disinfectants makes it extremely difficult to eradicate.

Meet Clostridium Difficile, The Next MRSA Superbug You Need To Worry About | Scientific Blogging

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