It seems that as we post more podcasts to our site lately, much of the subject matter circles back to a couple of topic areas that we knew were related but didn't originally intend to pull together - metabolomics and the increased use of antibiotics.
Dr. Dina Kao is a University of Alberta gastroenterologist and researcher who crosses over and circles around the 2 topics with her work
on fecal transplants. As weird and as unorthodox as that may sound it is a practice which has origins going back to the 4th Century and one which veterinarians were still using to treat farm animals into the 1700's.
However the renewed interest has come about as people take more antibiotics and suffer from side effects that can kill off the beneficial gut bacteria. Rejuvenating that gut microbiome can be achieved through a fecal transplant. Other diseases that affect the liver and the bowel can also benefit from the treatment. Dr. Kao and her team are developing a urine test that reads the metabolomic signature to detect certain problems that could benefit from a supervised fecal transplant.
The treatment is still not a common approach but with funding from the U of A Hospital Foundation and Alberta Health Services, it is getting more attention and research, and is showing a good success rate.
Freelance Broadcaster Don Hill talked to Dr. Kao about fecal transplants and clinical trials on patients with C. difficile