Yes, you read right: Faecal Transplantation.
Far from being a new technique, the earliest record of the use of faecal transplantation for the treatment of food poisoning and severe diarrhea has been from China, millennia ago, more nearly in the fourth century.
There are records that in the sixteenth century, Li Shizhen, an herbalist and acupuncturist, made use of the "yellow soup" (also known as "golden syrup") for the treatment of abdominal diseases. The soup was a compound of fresh, dried, or fermented feces.
Currently the subject is still little discussed - and by some still a taboo, but much research has been done to prove the benefits of this therapy in the treatment of infections, intestinal diseases and recovery of the intestinal microbiota after the use of antibiotics.
A healthy microbiota is able to inhibit the colonization of pathogens in our gut. The use of antibiotics, whatever the reason is, causes a rupture of the protection, promoting the opportunity of development of infections by pathogens.
Transplantation of the faecal microbiota consists in the introduction of the intestinal microbiota from a healthy donor to restore the affected intestinal microbiota of the recipient.
The donor is considered healthy when it does not present acute gastrointestinal conditions (diarrhea) or chronic gastrointestinal conditions (inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative microcolitis, celiac disease or history of colon cancer). Donors should not have been treated with antibiotics within 3 months prior to donation, nor should hepatitis A, B and C, syphilis, ova and parasites, enteric bacterial pathogens and HIV-1 / HIV-2 be present.
After the donation, the stool is taken to a laboratory for preparation of the solution to be introduced - via oral capsule containing lyophilized material, colonoscopy, enema or orogastric tube.
Learn more about stool donation banks by clicking on the following links:
Studies indicate that the faecal microbiota of the receptors after transplantation becomes more diverse and more similar to the donor profile than the microbiota before transplantation.
As previously mentioned, the use of antibiotics disturbs the original intestinal microbiota and its ability to provide resistance to colonization against pathogens such as C. difficile, and is a known risk factor in triggering the infection. Cases of recurrent infections remain difficult to treat with standard antibiotic therapy. Thus, fecal microbiota transplantation provided an alternative, successful (about 90%) method for treatment.
The hypothesis of efficacy is in the concept of bacterial interference, meaning that the use of harmless bacteria is able to interfere in the proliferation of pathogenic organisms, gradually ceasing the infection. However, in other cases of other conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, a theory that could explain the method of action has not yet been identified.
Now, without icky, although not completely elucidated, this therapy is incredible, isn't it????
GERKE, Henning. Ask an Expert: Does Fecal Transplantation Hold the Secret to Future Cures? 2016. Disponível em: <https://uihc.org/health-topics/ask-expert-does-fecal-transplantation-hold-secret-future-cures>. Acesso em: 10 set. 2018.
Seekatz AM, Aas J, Gessert CE, et al. Recovery of the Gut Microbiome following Fecal Microbiota Transplantation. mBio. 2014;5(3):e00893-14. doi:10.1128/mBio.00893-14.