We read with interest Jason Daley's article on "The 10 Worst Jobs in Science" in your April 2010 issue, and were surprised to find that our team here in Duluth, MN won the "#1 Just Plain Gross" top billing!
In the section on "Feces Piper," the article correctly identifies the problem (recurrent Clostridium difficile infection) and the solution (reintroduction of healthy stool), but is a bit wide of the mark on the issue of aesthetics. We have been providing "fecal transplants" for more than 15 years, and we find that patients with recurrent C. diff infection are uniformly receptive to the idea of re-introducing healthy stool into their GI tracts, so as to break the cycle of unpleasant symptoms, expensive treatment, and recurrence.
As Jason Daley observes in his article, no controlled studies of fecal transplants have been published, but we are in the process of correcting this omission. We recently received funding to conduct a placebo controlled, blinded trial of fecal transplants for the management of recurrent C. diff. We would be pleased to provide more information about the trial to any readers who are suffering from recurrent C. diff infection.
Charles E. Gessert, MD, MPH
Senior Research Scientist
SMDC Health System
400 E 3rd Street
Duluth, MN 55805-1983