Your stool can save lives.
C. difficile is an aggressive gut infection that affects about half a million Americans each year. 1 in 5 patients find that the infection comes back, even after they take antibiotics. For these patients, daily life gets hijacked by the disease. Every year, about 30,000 people die from C. difficile-related causes.
Where antibiotics have failed, though, a new treatment called fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been shown to be effective 80-90% of the time. In this procedure, stool from a healthy donor is transplanted into a patient’s colon. OpenBiome helps expand safe access to this procedure by rigorously screening donors and processing their stool to produce fecal microbiota preparations for use in clinical settings. Sign up to become a donor, and your stool could help change a patient’s life.
Here's how the process works:
It's different than donating blood: our stool donors go through at least two rounds of rigorous screens that involve blood and stool tests. They must come drop off donations at one of our clinical sites in either Somerville or Medford, MA five days a week for at least 60 days. As compensation for this commitment, donors receive $40 per donated stool sample. To donate:
Join our Stool Donor Registry
When we need new donors, we will reach out to members of the Stool Donor Registry and invite them to come in for The Pre-Screen Interview. At the moment, we can only work with donors who are able to visit one of our labs in either Somerville or Medford, MA. However, we are looking to expand within the Boston area. You can help us decide where to set up our new location by joining the registry. If you live or work within the Boston area, click below to sign up! We will not contact you for any other reason, and you may email us to remove yourself from the registry at any time.
The Pre-Screen Interview
Prospective donors come to an OpenBiome lab in either Somerville or Medford, MA to meet with our medical staff. During this visit, donors will go through a medical history questionnaire and interview similar to the one that blood donors answer.
Blood and Stool Screening
Prospective donors who pass the clinical interview will move on to the next step in our donor assessment process. They will undergo a series of stool and blood screens to determine whether they have any potentially infectious pathogens.
Donors who pass both the blood and stool screen tests are on board! These donors will attend a Donor Orientation session with our Donor Manager, after which they may begin donating.
Donors are expected to deposit their stool material at our lab in either Somerville or Medford, MA 5 days each week over a period of 60 days. Our facility is open for donations Monday-Friday, 7:30am-6pm and on Saturdays and Sundays, 9am-3pm.
After 60 days of donating, donors must undergo a second round of blood and stool screens. If they pass this round of screens, the stool we collected from them in the previous 60 days will be released and shipped to treat patients all over the country!
Who can donate?
Prospective donors must perform a series of health screens to determine their eligibility to donate stool. Here are the most common exclusion criteria for donating:
- Can you make daily trips to our Medford or Somerville location for at least 60 days?
- Will you be 18-50 years old during the donation period?
- Is your Body Mass Index (BMI) < 30?
- Do you believe you're exceptionally healthy?