Nature is touting the first randomized clinical trial to show that fecal transplants are more effective than standard antibiotic treatment against that modern scourge of the gut, Clostridium difficile. The article by Ed Yong on Jan. 16 details the paper by researchers at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands as published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Great stuff. As Dr. Khoruts from the University of Minnesota says in the article, a number of medical centers, including Mayo, have been performing this procedure for some time, so the fanfare accorded the paper is interesting. It's important to do this type of validation so widespread use of the technique can move ahead. Mayo recently published outcomes of its experience at our Arizona campus. I include the abstract link here:
Gallegos-Orozco JF, Paskvan-Gawryletz CD, Gurudu SR, Orenstein R.(2012) Jan;77(1):40-42. Rev Gastroenterol Mex. Successful colonoscopic fecal transplant for severe acute Clostridium difficile pseudomembranous colitis.
The difficulties in dealing with antibiotic resistant diseases is the topic of a special medical panel at next week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Mayo Clinic president and CEO John Noseworthy, M.D., will join moderator David Agus, M.D., of USC; Paul Stoffels, M.D., research head of Johnson & Johnson; Muhammad Ali Pate, M.D., health minister of Nigeria; and Jeffrey Drazen, M.D., editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine.