The push to be the nation's poo provider: a doctor's story

Dr Sam Costello wants to spread the wonders of faecal microbiota transplantation

This story has been updated.


To the long list of famous South Australian exports — Penfold’s Grange, Nippy’s orange juice, Lleyton Hewitt — Dr Sam Costello wants to add another entry.

Frozen faeces.

In 2013, the gastroenterologist founded the South Australian Stool Bank, now rebranded as the more-funky sounding Biomebank.

The stool bank was originally a stockpile of samples for his PhD completed at the University of Adelaide on faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) as a potential treatment for ulcerative colitis but now exists in a purpose built laboratory in Adelaide.

“There’s evidence that FMT can induce remissions, but not good evidence it can maintain remission,” he says. “Maintaining remission takes a long time to demonstrate.”

He expects long-term follow-up data to eke in.

In the meantime,

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