Fecal transplants are 'successful'

Posted Nov 30, 2013 by Tim Sandle
Fecal transplants have begun to be used as a treatment over the past year. Now a long-term study confirms transplants of stool microbes from healthy donors can successfully clear recurrent Clostridium difficile infections.
Representative image of the bacterium Clostridium.
Representative image of the bacterium Clostridium.
Donna Rain
Fecal transplants (or fecal bacteriotherapy), as Digital Journal has previously reported, aim to restore the balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria in the colon.
The procedure involves either single to multiple infusions (e.g. by enema) of bacterial fecal flora originating from a healthy donor, or, as a recent Canadian study showed, fecal transplant in pill form.
Now further evidence has emerged, in a PLoS One paper, about the success of the method. The paper, the Scientist notes, showed that patients given fecal microbiota transplants to treat recurrent Clostridium difficile infections cleared the bacteria in just days, and their intestinal microbiota were restored nearly to a pre-C. diff state within a year.
The new study was undertaken by University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Genome Sciences and Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, who used advanced genetic sequencing to screen a range of patient samples.
The reference for the research paper is:
Y. Song et al., “Microbiota dynamics in patients treated with fecal microbiota transplantation for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection,” PLOS ONE, 2013