New research from the University of Birmingham shows that “Fecal Microbiota Transplants” (FMT) is significantly helpful to treat the patients of Clostridioides difficile infection. The stool samples were obtained from the first-ever English stool bank which is helping to save the life of C. difficile patients. The results show that 78% of patients who were suffering from diarrhea were healed completely and they didn’t return even after 3 months of treatment.
The study results are published in the journal “EClinical Medicine”.
Previously, antibiotics were showing good progress in treating this infection. But nearly 20% of the infected people experienced recurring infections.
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The infection caused by C.diff typically occurs when the beneficial bacteria of the human gut are replaced by harmful bacteria. This replacement is usually a result of antibiotics that a patient is taking for treating any other infection such as diarrhea, pain, metabolic problems, etc.
In “Fecal Microbiota Transplants” (FMT), the patient receives beneficial bacteria from a donor through feces. The Microbiome Treatment Centre run under the University of Birmingham is the first and only licensed unit that is helping for such transplants. Before this setup was established, none of these patients had access to such treatment.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that this FMT based treatment works better than the typical antibiotic based treatment for healing C.diff infections. It is significantly helpful for patients with recurring infections.
A licensed FMT facility ensures the availability of effective treatment of all these patients. But remember that this FMT is not a complete cure but it only helps the patients of C.diff infections. It may also be helpful in a number of other health problems for example ulcerative colitis and others that directly relate to a disturbance in gut microbiota.
The study author Dr. Victoria McCune is a certified and consultant Clinical Scientist working in the Microbiology unit of South Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She said that;
“Our research has successfully shown the benefits of treating recurrent C.diff patients with FMT. Our standardized approach to making FMT will improve the quality and safety of this treatment for many more patients.”
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Professor Peter Hawkey teaches clinical and public health bacteriology at the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham. He says; “This work has turned an unregulated potentially dangerous method of fecal transplantation into a national service providing rapid, safe regulated, life-saving treatment for a serious disease affecting thousands of patients in the UK.”
However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a statement alerting people to know about the safety risks associated with “Fecal Microbiota Transplants” (FMT). It says that it is possible for the patients to develop enteropathogenic E.coli (EPEC) infections, as well as Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC) infections.