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The Faecal Microbiota Transplant

Learn more about faecal microbiota transplant, a methodology used to modify your gut microbiota.

Our microbiome can protect us against infections, however, antibiotic treatment is one of the most common risk factors for contracting a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) due to the depletion of microbiome. 20-30% of C. difficile infected patients treated with antibiotics often relapse, setting up a cycle of recurrent infections, leaving them increasingly sicker. Faecal Microbiota Transplants (FMT) break this cycle by replacing the patient’s microbiome with a healthier one, delivering almost immediate health benefits. A number of large clinical trials have proven the effectiveness of FMT for the treatment of CDI.

In Faecal Microbiota Transplants (FMT) microbiota from healthy donors is transferred into patients with C. difficile infections who haven’t responded well to the more established treatment with antibiotics, with a success rate of over 90%.

What Is the Procedure?

The patient stops taking antibiotics is given an enema to empty the bowels and a Nasojejunal (NJ) tube is inserted through the nose by a gastroenterologist. Fresh or previously frozen donor faecal slurry is delivered to the patient via this NJ tube or via colonoscopy. The FMT process takes only 20 minutes.

Let’s watch how it is performed in this video.

Research and the Future

Patients, and their microbiomes, are monitored following the transplants to better understand how they work, and which of the hundreds of different bacterial species are the ones responsible for the benefits. There is interest in using FMT against other conditions related to the microbiome, such as ulcerative colitis and diabetes.

Where is Faecal Microbiota Transplant Carried Out?

An example of this treatment in practice is from Norwich, UK, where the collaboration of scientists and clinicians has implemented this successful new treatment for recurring Clostridium difficile infections. Professor Arjan Narbad, Research Leader, Quadram Institute, developed the facility to obtain, screen and deliver healthy material suitable for FMT. The entire procedure is overseen and managed by Dr Ngozi Elumogo, Consultant Microbiologist and Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

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The Human Microbiome

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