Frozen stool sample

Frozen stool sample

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Credit: LOUISE MURRAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Frozen stool sample for faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). This is offered as a last resort when other treatments have failed to treat Clostridium difficile infection. Donors are screened and tested before samples are accepted. Stool samples are diluted in saline, filtered and the bacteria preserved with the addition of glycerol before storage at minus 80 degrees Celsius. The sample is delivered to the transplant recipient in liquid form. It may be delivered via the anus into the large intestine using a colonoscope, or via a tube that enters the nose and passes into the small intestine (a nasoduodenal tube). FMT restores the healthy balance of bacteria in the colon. Photographed at Guy's and St Thomas' hospital, London, UK.

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