SILVER SPRING, MD—A new antimicrobial is the first drug to be approved by the FDA with a novel route of administration: the fecal-oral route. Taking advantage of a behavior—improper or no handwashing after wiping, leaving fecal contents on the hands—performed by 95% of the US population, researchers believe this new drug will efficiently curb the spread of gastrointestinal pathogens.
“Let’s face it…we’ve tried recommending handwashing but nobody does it correctly and some don’t do it at all. We are a rather disgusting species if you think about it,” said Dr. Ira McNeil, an infectious diseases expert. “It is clear that advising handwashing was a monumental mistake. The natural inclination of humans is to wipe their feces-covered anuses and then go about their business.”
The new agent, called Fecoralex, has broad activity against most GI pathogens and takes advantage of this disgusting natural inclination. Its mechanism of action is being hailed as ingenious and groundbreaking. The drug is implanted as a depot within the rectal wall of people afflicted with infectious diarrhea. As stool passes by, a small amount of the drug is released into the feces and then to the hand as the person wipes. The drug, along with the pathogen, then remains on the hand until it’s transferred to the mouth when the person inevitably touches his face. Once the drug passes from the feces to the oral cavity, it is then swallowed and will help clear the infection.
But even more beneficial is that this new drug will help curb the spread of infectious diarrhea. When an infected person who has the Fecoralex drug depot spreads their germs to another person, they will now also be spreading the cure.
“The best part,” said McNeil, “is that when you shake someone’s hand or prepare a salad for them, the drug, like the germ, spreads to that person via the fecal-oral route.”
The makers of the drug advise that for best results, users should not wash their hands at all after defecating. However, if users accidentally do wash their hands after wiping, there is no need to worry. Since most people don’t use soap or wash long enough, there should still be an adequate amount of drug on the hands. They stress that there is no need to immediately defecate and wipe again.
So next time you have “the runs”, run to your doctor and ask for Fecoralex.