Interactions between many species of bacteria create a healthy environment in the human stomach and intestines. But when medicines like antibiotics upset the normal microbial balance, certain harmful species can multiply and thrive, causing infections that are difficult to cure. Scientists are successfully treating a type of digestive disorder using transplanted microbes from donors with healthy digestive systems to reestablish microbial diversity.

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.

RELATED LINKS

PLoS ONE: Microbiota Dynamics in Patients Treated with Fecal
Microbiota Transplantation for Recurrent Clostridium
difficile Infection
plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0081330

NEJM: Duodenal Infusion of Donor Feces for Recurrent Clostridium difficile
nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1205037

Nature: A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing
nature.com/nature/journal/v464/n7285/full/nature08821.html

The Human Microbiome Project
hmpdacc.org/

The American Gut Project
americangut.org/

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