Two years ago, Catherine Duff, then 57, tearfully described eight debilitating bouts of antibiotic-resistant #Clostridium_difficile infection to a government panel in Washington. She grew better, she said, only after treating the gastrointestinal infection at home with her husband’s feces, a blender and an enema bag.
Mark B. Smith, a young doctoral student in microbiology, was in the audience, almost as teary as Ms. Duff. Resolving to help patients like her, he started a nonprofit called OpenBiome, the first stool bank in the country, which distributes fecal samples from healthy donors to help cure people with tenacious C. difficile infections.
Now OpenBiome has made the process, called fecal microbiota transplantation, far simpler. The bank has come up with a capsule containing fecal #microbes that can be taken much like any other drug — poop in a pill.