Now, a US study has found that feeding such patients with capsules of frozen faeces from healthy people can tackle infections caused by them.

Doctors at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston were able to freeze healthy stool samples and enclose them in capsules that could be swallowed. Twenty people were given the therapy.

Each patient was given 15 capsules on two consecutive days. The symptoms disappeared for 14 of the 20 people, with no recurrences in the following two months.

After another course of treatment, only two patients had further episodes of diarrhoea. The patients also reported significant improvements in overall health and no serious adverse events were observed.

"The use of capsules simplifies the procedure immensely, potentially making it accessible to a greater population," said Ilan Youngster from the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston in US.

The research appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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