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Strange Treatment for Infection

Fecal transplant for intestinal infection.

Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from a bacterial infection in their intestines that could be life-threatening.  Now, some patients are resorting to an unusual and controversial treatment.

Tanya Boyd is about to have a procedure to treat a potentially deadly bacterial infection.

She says, "when you have this, you constantly have to go to the bathroom. So you're afraid to go out to the movies, to the store."

The 49-year-old suffers from an intestinal infection called C-difficile. The bacteria is highly resistant to antibiotics and hard to treat. So many patients are trying a procedure called a fecal transplant.

Dr. Lawrence Brandt says, "think of stool as the ultimate probiotic."

A sample from a healthy donor - usually a family member -is transferred to the patient during a colonoscopy.

Dr. Lawrence explains, "you are taking a community of normal bacteria and putting that normal community into the patient."

Many patients pick up C.diff at the hospital after receiving high doses of antibiotics. Tanya needed two transplants after contracting C.diff during separate hospital stays.

The FDA considers fecal transplants research, not treatment and says long-term consequences are not known. But doctors who perform the procedure say 90 percent of patients are cured within days. 

Tanya's husband was the donor for her first transplant, her daughter donated the second time

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