In this week’s episode, we cover a bacterium whose recent emergence and rapid spread has been largely an epidemic of our own making. Clostridium difficile isn’t your typical pathogen - in many cases it’s not even considered a pathogen, just a normal member of our gut microbiota. But when something disrupts our gut microbiota, like antibiotics, C. difficile is given the freedom to spread its wings, wreaking deadly havoc on our bodies especially when it refuses to leave. We explore the characteristics of this bacterium that make it such a terrifying public health threat, delve into its recent-but-not-as-recent-as-you-might-think history, and chat about the current status of C. diff before asking the question, “what can poo do for you?” That’s right, we’re taking this opportunity to talk about one of our all-time favorite medical interventions, fecal microbiota transplantation. Helping us navigate the ins and outs of fecal transplants is Dr. Majdi Osman, Chief Medical Officer at OpenBiome, a nonprofit stool bank that aims to expand access to safe fecal microbiota transplantation and fund research into the human microbiome. By the end of this episode, we think you’ll find yourself in awe at the healing powers of poop.

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