There are levels to disturbing. Fecal bacteriotherapy has quietly been around for years, done by pragmatic doctors who had run out of other options for patients with destroyed or fouled up flora.
It made the medical community as a whole, however, cringe. Much of this can be explained because during their early studies, medical students get huge blocks of study about pathogens, and most of them turn into bacteriophobes at almost a neurotic level, at some point. It is hard to overcome that, psychologically.
What may have tipped the balance in favor of “good bacteria” are the drug resistant strains that are quite common today. The first response is to sterilize everything, but that is ineffective, because the problem is not contamination, but caused by the overuse of antibiotics.
Most of us have *some* antibiotic resistant bacteria in our bodies right now. But the “good” bacteria keep them in check by taking up all the available space. But when, due to injury or sickness, radiation, chemotherapy or especially antibiotics damage or wipe out the vast majority of the “good” intestinal flora, the drug resistant bacteria have a population explosion. A small amount of those bacteria are relatively harmless, but a large amount can be very destructive, or deadly.
Hospitals that get hit with an epidemic of drug resistant bacteria almost certainly overuse antibiotics. While they desperately try to clean every surface, it does not reduce the epidemic one bit. What does work is putting strict controls on the use of antibiotics. Only permitting the use of a specific antibiotic against a known infection.
Even more dramatic is the discovery that some severe autoimmune diseases can be at least temporarily neutralized by giving the patient an infection of *parasites*.
There is a human parasite called a “human whipworm”, that used to be quite common. A similar whipworm, found only in pigs, cannot live in the human body for more than a week or two, but when given to a person with life threatening Crohn’s disease, quickly normalizes their immune system, if not permanently, then for a long time.
Likewise, severe, life threatening asthma can be treated with hookworm, which used to be endemic to America, but has almost been eradicated here.
So it is a functional, interactive triangle of the human immune system, the bacterial flora, and parasites.
But wait, there’s more!
Since the 1920s, I believe, medicine has known about bacteriophage viruses, viruses that attack certain bacteria strains. The assumption was that they could be used like antibiotics against infection. However, like antibiotic resistance, bacteria adapt to viral threats to protect themselves, and they do so even faster than they do for antibiotics. So bacteriophages can only be used in very strict circumstances, for a short time, and accompanied by antibiotics.
But back to the gross, and bacteriophobic.
Humans have a zone on their skin, from about knees to navel, front and back, called the “coliform zone”. On this skin, there is a dense layer of coliform (fecal) bacteria, with far more pathogenic bacteria in it than most elsewhere on the body.
This is why it is important to wash your hands after going to the bathroom. Not because you have urine or feces on your hands, though you might, but because you have been touching the skin of the coliform zone.
Coliform bacteria is so unique to a person that it is almost like a fingerprint. And having dozens or hundreds of unique bacteria causes a major problem when two people have sex. They exchange a huge number of foreign to them bacteria.
It is like a massive septic infection. Commonly, women who only have their native coliform culture are prone to “yeast infections” when they have sex with someone who has had many partners, resulting in a “super coliform culture”.
Such a person is like getting a hundred small infections all at once. Very taxing to the immune system. And it is also frequently confused with a venereal disease, making the young woman very unhappy.
However,I’d like to point out that not all coliform bacteria are in the fecal coliform group.
Most coliforms are found in soil and the general environment. Fecal coliforms are a subgroup.