WASHINGTON - A superbug named C-diff is on the rise, a germ that so ravages some people's intestines that repeated tries of the strongest, most expensive antibiotic can't conquer their disabling diarrhea.
Now a few doctors are trying a last-ditch treatment: Using good bacteria to fight off the bad by transplanting stool from a healthy person into the sick person's colon.
Yes, there's a yuck factor. But reports of several dozen cases this fall suggest that with no more inconvenience than a colonoscopy, people who have suffered C-diff for months, or longer, can rapidly improve.
"This is the ultimate probiotic," says Dr. Lawrence Brandt, of New York's Montefiore Medical Center, who has performed 17 of the procedures.