Cambridge stool bank helps meet growing need for fecal transplants

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A nose-wrinkling procedure to use human feces to treat a serious gut infection gained worldwide attention a year ago when a top medical journal published a study showing just how effective it was when compared to routine antibiotic treatment. In the meantime, regulators have been wrestling with what sort of oversight should be used on this scatological treatment.

A group of researchers from MIT and Brown University proposed Wednesday that fecal transplants be regulated similarly to tissue or blood.

In fecal transplants, a slurry of feces containing the gut bacteria from a healthy donor are strained and implanted into the intestine. Official guidelines about how to screen donors and ensure samples are safe will help bring clarity and uniformity to a field that has become something of a Wild West.

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