After the subsequent death of a patient that received a fecal transplant, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns about the drug-resistant bacteria. The fecal transplant is a frequent treat for Clostridium difficile infection. The patients that don’t respond to the standard treatment options will get the fecal transplant. The process may seem unusual for us, but it involves transferring the stool from a healthy person in the intestines of the infected patient. The purpose is to introduce good bacteria in the body. But things went severely this time with a transplant, so from here the warning from the FDA.
What Happened because of the Transplant?
We are talking about two adult patients with sick immune systems that received the fecal transplant from the same donor. After the operation, the two patients developed an infection caused by Escherichia coli, also known as E.coli. The E.coli is producing extended-spectrum beta-lactamase or ESBL, and the two patients we’re the victims of this ESBL.
How Can E.coli and ESBL Happen?
The problem started because the scientists in the lab didn’t test the donor stool for drug-resistant bacteria before the fecal transplant. When doctors ignore the procedure of testing, the patients got sick. When things got worse, a sample from the donor stool was tested, and the results show E. coli. And the bacteria were present in the two patients as well.
Also, after the results of the adverse reactions, the FDA was the one that is now requiring that all the potential donors be screened with questions and all the stools to get the test for drug-resistant bacteria. Take note that C. diff causes around to half a million illnesses year by year, and it can affect people of all ages. The Center gave these statistics for Disease Control and Prevention.
Finally, the CDS says that another biggest public health challenge for our times is the antibiotic resistance. This problem occurs each year, and two million people from the United States are getting an antibiotic-resistant infection. Unfortunately, around 23.000 people are dying from it.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca