Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT)

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is an investigational treatment for recurring C. difficile infections that do not respond to antibiotics. In clinical trials, FMT is shown to resolve nearly 90 percent of C. difficile infections. During FMT, a physician transplants healthy stool from a thoroughly screened donor into the colon of the patient. FMT can be administered through a colonoscopy, naso-enteric tube or via capsule. Gastroenterology Specialists of Naples has partnered with OpenBiome to offer FMT through capsule administration.

Antibiotic treatment can deplete the gut of the protective bacteria that competes with infections like C. difficile. This antibiotic resistant infection can then form spores and cause severe abdominal pain, diarrhea and fever. It is believed that FMT works by adding healthy donor bacteria to a patient’s microbiome to help them fight a C. difficile infection. Researchers are currently exploring the use of FMT to treat other disorders like Crohn’s Disease.

Stool is a living mixture of organisms and bacteria. Even when the donor is carefully screened, there is always the possibility that the screening test failed to detect a disease or pathogen. Depending on the administration, there can be risks associated with the procedure.