Fake “Poop” Created, Could Cure Infections

National Geographic News Watch – by Stefan Sirucek

Fake poop for good health?

It’s no load of crap, according to Emma Allen-Vercoe, a microbiologist at the University of Guelph in Ontario. She has developed a synthetic “poop” that can be used to treat human gastrointestinal infections caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile.

Allen-Vercoe and colleagues developed the stool from purified intestinal bacterial cultures grown in a “Robo-gut,” which, like it sounds, is essentially an artificial large intestine. (Explore an interactive of the human body.)

While the term probiotic makes most of us think of yogurt, the result of Allen-Vercoe’s research is a “superprobiotic” that could be a potent new form of treatment.

Given the apropos name of RePOOPulate, the superstool could replace human fecal matter in the stool transplants now commonly used to treat C. difficile, a bacterium that can take over the gut after antibiotics have wiped out friendly bacteria, causing a host of nasty symptoms

According to a new study in the journal Microbiome, the laboratory poop has proven effective at curing C. difficile infections while offering enhanced safety and stability as well.

While traditional stool transplants have proven effective, they often contain unknown pathogens. And “that puts people at risk for future disease,” Allen-Vercoe said in a statement.

In other words, it’s a bit of a crapshoot. With the new synthetic poop, however, ”the exact composition of the bacteria administered is known and can be controlled,” she said.

RePOOPulate Gives Long-Lasting Benefits

This new level of oversight means that treatment can be more easily standardized and modified to fit individual patient needs. But perhaps most important is the fact that it’s more appealing to both patients and doctors alike than traditional stool transplants, resulting in a lower “ick-factor”—scientifically speaking.

There’s also evidence that RePOOPulate results a long-lasting improvement of overall gut health, with the introduced microbes persisting after treatment. “This is important because most commercially available probiotics only colonize transiently,” noted Allen-Vercoe.

The synthetic stool may even have further applications. Allen-Vercoe hopes that similar methods may one day prove useful in the treatment of conditions ranging from inflammatory bowel disease to autism—meaning that fake poop may, well, go from the number two to number one treatment for some conditions.

Stefan Sirucek is a writer, journalist, and map enthusiast. His work has appeared in the Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal.


13 thoughts on “Fake “Poop” Created, Could Cure Infections

  1. My dad always told me to smear some sh!t on it & it’ll heal. Guess it’s gonna come to that now.

    It appears we have some serious problems with our medical research these days.

  2. And while these lab-coat lunatics make fake faces, another gang of them across town ponders how to get rid of the real stuff.

    1. HaHaHa, That is what I thought was so goofy about this article Jolly Roger. There isn`t nothin` like the real thing – ya know a good healthy dump makes me feel better almost all the time – does the human race have to start with Phoney poop? ROFLOL

      1. “Allen-Vercoe and colleagues developed the stool from purified intestinal bacterial cultures grown in a “Robo-gut,” which, like it sounds, is essentially an artificial large intestine.”

        Hey digger, you think maybe they stole this “Robo-gut” from Robo Cop? LOL

      2. Hi Diggerdan,

        Just a quick message, after any article from the ‘From The Trenches’ site has been saved on my computer, it is saved all scrunched up, at least the adverts part, so there is a software problem that seems to be occurring only with your site, but I am not sure if there may be some incompatibility issues with my software.

        And when I attempt to resave any article from this site after someone adds new comments, it will not save at all, which is a pity, as it is nice to save copies of comments as well as the original articles.

        Is there any way of checking please whether this a software issue with your site, and if other people are experiencing the same thing to validate that possibility?


        1. Sorry to hear about your prob. mothman777. I get pop ups from windows saying that my virtual memory is low and some applications may not work for the time being. Windows increases my virtual memory almost every day.

          1. @ diggerdan

            Thanks for that man. I will check my settings and maybe that will sort it out. Glad you enjoyed the film.

  3. The Russians have used Phage medicine for many years, cultures of natural bugs exist to combat every germ known, a bug to fight polio, a bug to fight meningitis etc.

    Western medicine is years behind. If you have sterile gut syndrome from antibiotics, and you are experiencing dysbiosis after being overrun by candida which quickly colonizes the entire body in the absence of other, friendly bacteria, take ‘Soil Based Organisms’, a company called Kiki makes them, a combination of many types of friendly bacteria.

    There are 10,000 friendly strains of bacteria in the body normally, and they are vital for the correct functioning of many important biological process, so we are symbiotic entities really, evolved to be a soul living in a colony of souls in millions of other tiny bodies really. I say this because in the vedic tradition, all beings have a soul, even bacteria.

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