CDiffMore faecal transplants and less antibiotics should be used to counter the rise of Clostridium Difficile infection, a leading microbiologist has claimed.

An estimated 3% of the population carry C.Diff without disease, yet figures for 2014/15 show that cases of infection rose by 6% to 14,165, up from 13,361 in 2013/14. Previous years have seen a year-on-year decrease in C.Diff cases going back to 2007/08.

As a result, Glenn Taylor, microbiologist and founder of the Taymount Clinic in Hertfordshire, has called on the NHS to carry out more faecal microbiota transplants (FMT) to tackle the issue, rather than using antibiotics, saying FMT has been proven worldwide tackle C.Diff.

He said: “It is alarming that C.Diff is on the rise again after the NHS managing to reduce cases by some 75% in recent years.

“This worrying statistic is sure to alarm the public and the medical community, and we need a two-pronged approach to fight this disease.

“The majority of cases are no longer due to transmission within a hospital environment and instead C.Diff resides benignly in the gut of many individuals and the disease is instead awoken following extensive antibiotic treatment.

“When there is an assault by the cocktails of antibiotics that are too often prescribed, it decimates the healthy flora in a person’s gut and allows C.Diff to multiply and wreak havoc within the bacterial ecosystem.

“When this happens, the normally harmful C.Diff will change its gene expression and become pathogenic; in other words disease-causing.

“Really, the only sensible way to treat this is to repopulate the gut with a Faecal Microbiota Transplant, restoring the healthy bacterial ecosystem and suppressing the ability of C.Diff to cause disease.

“As things currently stand this is only accepted as a treatment for recurrent C.Diff, which is resistant to antibiotics.”

Mr Taylor added that antibiotics should be used more carefully. “It’s very frustrating that the first line of treatment is to administer yet more antibiotics, which exacerbates the problem in many cases,” he said.

“We at the Taymount Clinic are not anti-antibiotic; they are of course essential in many situations. However, simply using FMT as the first line approach would make C.Diff infections lasting longer than three days very rare.

“Considering the vast body of evidence supporting FMT for C.Diff, with cure rates well over 90%, we believe more could be done by the NHS.

“We hope the NHS listens to us and others within our field as the sooner they do the sooner this disease can be beaten."