The next C. diff treatment may be in pill form

A study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, shows that a pill form of treatment, involving frozen or freeze-dried fecal microbiota, could be effective for C. difficle.

Researchers examined 72 patients who had at least three bouts of recurrent C. diff in a clinical trial. They treated the patients with fresh, frozen or freeze-dried fecal microbiota transplant products via colonoscopy.

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The study shows that the fresh FMT product resulted in a 100 percent cure rate among patients, while the frozen product resulted in an 83 percent cure rate and the freeze-dried product resulted in a 69 percent cure rate.

Frozen and fresh FMT products restored healthy gut bacteria and microbiota diversity in patients within seven days, while the freeze-dried product showed some improvement in microbiota diversity in the same time period. After one month, the freeze-dried product showed full restoration of healthy gut bacteria.

"This is the first study to show that frozen and freeze-dried microbiota are as good as fresh material, so that we never have to use fresh again. It's a logistical nightmare to use fresh product. If we were going to treat you today, a donor would have come in two hours before, we would have already isolated the sample and then we would have to administer it the same day. A pill form of the product could make all of this easier," said Herbert L. DuPont, MD, senior author of the study and director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston.

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