In the event of a Clostridium difficile infection that proves unresponsive to various bouts of antibiotics, many have no choice but to turn to fecal transplants. C. difficile is often caught in hospitals and nursing homes and kills up to 15,000 Americans each year. A fecal transplant is 90% effective, but requires the poop of someone else.
Consequently, Dr. Mark Smith, founder of the non-profit fecal bank called OpenBiome, has come up with a novel idea. He screens donors and banks stool for use by medical professionals. Additionally, he has founded PersonalBiome, an initiative that allows you to store your stool with him in the event of you becoming infected with C. difficile. The creation of OpenBiome has led to the development of poop pills in which donor fecal matter is swallowed in the form of a compact capsule.
Not only can this be advantageous for the treatment of C. difficile, but perhaps also as a common measure for the restoration of our microbiome after antibiotic use. Clearly, further research is needed, however it looks like people actually give a shit about poop’s role in medicine.