This Australian Stool Bank Pays People to Donate Poo

Believe it or not, faecal microbiota transplantation is a legitimate medical procedure and now Australia has its first public stool bank that’s actually paying people to donate their poo for faecal transplants. BiomeBank processes and stores healthy stool and is funded by the Hospital Research Foundation. They typically pay $25 per sample.

But the clinic doesn’t accept just any stool. “Donors typically have to be healthy people, without any active medical problems, then undergo a multistage assessment,” explains Dr. Sam Costello, co-founder of BiomeBank. “That includes a medical history, physical examination, and then they have a blood and a stool test. If they pass all of those screens, then they can become a donor and we encourage people to donate regularly over a period of time, so we can collect an adequate amount of stool from them.”

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Australia's first public stool bank

The stool is gathered with the intent of harvesting healthy gut bacteria. To do so, the stool, once donated, is processed mixing it with saline and glycerine, and then it is frozen at minus 80 degrees Celsius. The donated stool is used to treat people with chronic bowel disorders, more specifically C. Diff. According to BiomeBank, one in every 250 Australians suffers from inflammatory bowel disease. The treatment enjoys a 90 per cent cure rate. Faecal transplants may be relatively new to Western medicine, but it has been in practice in ancient cultures much longer. “There are reports of faecal transplants being used in Chinese medicine, the Bedouin people of North Africa have a long history of using faecal transplant to treat dysentery,” says Dr. Costello. BiomeBank treats about 30 patients a year in South Australia alone, and they expect to supply about 500 treatments per year throughout the entire continent. So if you’re healthy, and you’re willing to donate, start donating. You could literally be flushing $25 down the drain.

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