Clostridium difficile infection’s most common symptoms are watery diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and nausea. The standard treatment of the infection were antibiotics such as metronidazole or vancomycin but the infection was recurrent in around 20% of patients.
The fecal microbiota transplantation procedure used at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston by Dr. Ilan Youngster and colleagues showed a clinical resolution of diarrhea in many patients after the first administration of capsules and a similar results for non-responding patients after a second administration performed 7 days after the first. This treatment needs healthy donors of fecal matter to be previously prepared. The researchers concluded that larger studies are needed to confirm the results and to evaluate long-term safety and effectiveness of the capsule.
Another way to treat infection with C difficile bacteria was imagined by a team of scientists from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Hamburg, Germany, using viruses to “eat” bacteria.