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RePOOPulation: It's Less 'Icky'

A paper in the inaugural issue of Microbiome describes the effort to develop and design a synthetic stool mixture to treat people with Clostridium difficile infections. Researchers led by the University of Guelph's Emma Allen-Vercoe present their therapy, which they dubbed RePOOPulate.

RePOOPulate, a synthetic, probiotic stool mixture, was developed by examining the microbial diversity of the stool of a healthy 41-year-old woman, finding 33 isolates from commensal species to include in the mixture. It was then used to treat two patients infected with a highly virulent C. difficile strain. The patients "reverted to their normal bowel pattern within 2 to 3 days and remained symptom-free at 6 months," the researchers note.

As a press release notes, "Besides offering an effective therapy against the deadly superbug, the artificial poop is safer, more stable and adaptable, and less 'icky' than treatments for C. difficile infection such as fecal bacteriotherapy."