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Fecal transplants have gone from extreme to nearly mainstream in the past decade or so in Canada, and even more so in the United States, says Elizabeth Brodkin, Fraser Health's medical director of infection prevention and control.

While clinical trials can be expensive and time-consuming, a pilot project at Fraser Health would have required no new funding and was to run as part of the authority's overall medical operations, Dr. Brodkin said.

She played a key role in putting the project together.

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Health Canada said in a statement it has authorized nine clinical trials for fecal therapies.

They include one at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton, where Christine Lee has been performing the procedure for more than two years and had success with most of her patients.

The University Health Network in Toronto is currently looking for 140 patients who will be followed for 120 days.

The study will compare fecal transplant therapy with a six-week course of antibiotic treatment.

The University of Alberta is also looking at how often the therapy should be administered and why it does not work for some patients.

And a drug company in the United States called Rebiotix Inc., has been given approval for trials as it attempts to create a therapy product that would be in a "convenient, ready-to-use enema format," as stated on the company's website.

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