Gut Bacteria Can Fight Diarrhea

To date this has been a controversial topic. Scientists are increasingly accepting the importance of gut flora, but seemingly logical remedies like probiotic yoghurt doesn’t seem to be much help.

A common hospital bacteria is in dire need of having its incidences reduced:

Clostridium difficile is a menace in hospitals and nursing homes, causing nearly 336,000 infections and 14,000 deaths a year in the United States. Antibiotics can temporarily knock down the bacterium, but about 25% of infected people relapse, often multiple times, because the germ produces spores that hand sanitizers and hand washing don’t kill. Antibiotics can also backfire because they kill the gut’s normal microbial community, clearing the way for C. difficile to resettle.
[Source: Science Mag]

A controversial remedy will be reported here tomorrow, using the excrement from healthy people…

Fortunately scientists have now isolated the beneficial bacteria from the fecal remedy, so these bacteria can be directly applied in a more acceptable manner. Mice only at this stage:

…identify a simple mixture of six phylogenetically diverse intestinal bacteria, including novel species, which can re-establish a health-associated microbiota and clear C. difficile027/BI infection from mice. Thus, targeting a dysbiotic microbiota with a defined mixture of phylogenetically diverse bacteria can trigger major shifts in the microbial community structure that displaces C. difficile and, as a result, resolves disease and contagiousness.

[Source: PLOS]