Science

Belgian scientists are looking for poo donors

Hannelore Hamerlinck in her lab at the University of Ghent.

Hannelore Hamerlinck in her lab at the University of Ghent.   | Photo Credit: ERIC VIDAL

For microbiota transfer to sick patients

Belgian scientists are looking for people to donate their faeces to help with research into illnesses ranging from bowel disorders and allergies to neurological diseases.

At Ghent University hospital, researchers are performing fecal microbiota transplants on patients. They extract good microbiota, tiny organisms living in the colon, from donors to transfer it to sick patients in hope of repopulating their guts.

“How do we find donors? That’s not so easy. People do not always want to donate their faeces. It is also hard to talk about, but we started this campaign,” said biomedical researcher Hannelore Hamerlinck.

Beyond bowel disorders, faeces may prove to be an asset in finding remedies for many other diseases, scientists say.

Over the past decade, a growing number of studies have suggested an association between disruptions in gut microbiota and illness, including allergies and cancer. “Microbes are at the centre of the system. The bacteria in the gut produce hormones that will affect the brain,” she said.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 2:18:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/belgian-scientists-are-looking-for-poo-donors/article24781277.ece

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