12:17am Thursday 19 October 2017

Research aims to lift the taboo on talking about poo

However the image problems of one disease that causes varying degrees of debilitating and life threatening bouts of diarrhoea could be about to change.

Deakin University medical scientist Dr Melanie Thomson is looking to raise awareness of one non-glamorous disease that is a growing health issue throughout the world and causes around 25,000 infections and up to 14,000 deaths in the United States every year, with annual health care costs in excess of US$1 billion.

“I tend to work on diseases with image problems,” Dr Thomson explained. “And one such disease is caused by the hospital superbug Clostridium difficile (C. diff). In mild doses it results in explosive diarrhoea but in more serious cases can lead to inflamed bowels and toxic mega colon.”

Rates of C. diff infections are growing around the world, however the number of cases in Australia are only starting to be monitored. While it is more commonly contracted in hospitals, there is evidence that it is also being contracted in the broader community.

Dr Thomson is currently raising funds to develop an educational health video to increase awareness of C. diff infections.

“The video will be part of a two-step strategy to educate health professionals and inform the public about the dangers of C. Diff infections and then raise funds for a clinical trial into repurposing an old arthritis drug called Aurofin to treat this deadly super bug,” Dr Thomson said.

Dr Thomson’s No More Poo Taboo campaign is hosted on Pozible and seeks to raise $10,750. It is one of four current projects by Deakin University researchers seeking funding as part of Research My World, an ongoing partnership between Pozible and the university.

Media contact

Mandi O’Garretty
Media and Corporate Communications
03 52272776, 0418 361 890


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