Fecal Implant to Treat Relapsing C. Difficile

July 19, 2010

A gastroenterologist from the University of Minnesota transplanted a donor sample of bacteria into a patient with relapsing CDI, which successfully halted the infection.

Last month, an article in Pediatrics described how researchers successfully used fecal bacteriotherapy through a temporary nasogastric tube to treat a child with relapsing Clostridium Difficile infection (CDI) after treatment with antibiotics had failed. Now, Dr. Alexander Khoruts, a gastroenterologist at the University of Minnesota has successfully performed a similar procedure on a woman with relapsing CDI, further proving the validity of this procedure.

Khoruts’ patient had been reduced to using a wheelchair and wearing diapers, after the CDI caused her to lose 60 pounds in eight months. Khoruts and colleagues took a small sample of bacteria from the patient’s husband and mixed it with saline solution, then delivered it into the patient’s colon. In the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, the researchers report that “transplantation had a dramatic impact on the composition of the patient's gut microbiota,” adding that, by 14 days post-transplantation, “the fecal bacterial composition of the recipient was highly similar to that of the donor and was dominated by Bacteroides spp. strains and an uncharacterized butyrate producing bacterium.”

To read more about this procedure, please visit the following links:

Original Pediatrics article

Fecal Bacteriotherapy Effective for Treating Relapsing Clostridium Difficile Infection

How Microbes Defend and Define Us — More about Khoruts’ Patient

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology article