Gut bug trial launched up north
North Queensland will see the world's first large-scale trial of gut bacteria transplants as an obesity and diabetes treatment.
The treatment involves healthy bacteria being taken from a donor and placed into the gut of the patient.
“There's good evidence in animal studies that you can cause weight loss with faecal transplantation from skinny animals into overweight animals,” Townsville-based gastroenterologist Stephen Fairley told the ABC.
“There's also some evidence this is the case in humans in prior studies.
“We've had one case where [a person] lost 30 kilograms after faecal transplantation from a skinny donor into an obese doctor. He was very happy with the result.”
Dr Fairley is recruiting 80 people to take part in the study.
“We're looking for patients who have type-2 diabetes, a BMI over 30, preferably live in the Townsville region, between the age of 18 to 65 and have had a prior colonoscopy within the last two years,” he said.
“Those participants would be treated with, at the time of colonoscopy, an infusion of faecal material from a skinny donor.
“They would have blood tests and give stool samples for analysis and they would be followed over 12 months.”