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Coming to a Standard for Fecal Transplants

Fecal transplants can be a successful way to change up a patient's gut microbiome and to treat resilient Clostridium difficile infections, but there isn't a standard way to perform one, Nature reports.

The US Food and Drug Administration has said that it oversees such procedures, and doctors wishing to perform one must file a Investigative New Drug application with the agency that contains details of their procedure. But, it may be years, Nature says, until FDA comes down on which way is the safest and best.

Until then, it adds, there are a number of unresolved questions to address, a major one being: What conditions can this treat? Other items to consider are the source and preparation of the "drug."

Still, regulation could be difficult given the nature of such a transplant. "How the FDA plans to regulate human feces is a mystery to me," Trevor Van Schooneveld from the University of Nebraska Medical Center tells Nature.