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Therap Adv Gastroenterol


Fecal microbiota transplantation for recurrent , safety, and pitfalls.


Sandhu A, Chopra T
Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2021; 14:17562848211053105.
PMID: 34992678.


infection (CDI) is one of the leading causes of hospital-acquired infection attributing to substantial morbidity, mortality, and healthcare cost. Recurrent CDI (rCDI) is common and occurs after effective treatment of first episode. Treatment of rCDI is based on accurate diagnoses, due to difficulty in distinguishing between colonization of spores or CDI; coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) added to the complexity of diagnoses as both entities can co-occur. It is difficult to eradicate rCDI, and there remains a critical gap regarding treatment of rCDI. The treatment goal of rCDI is to reestablish normal microbiota. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is suggested as a treatment for second episode of rCDI. Based on the collective evidence of all randomized controlled trials, FMT was reported more efficacious compared with vancomycin or fidaxomicin; however, these trials had limited number of patients and all patients were pre-treated with vancomycin prior to FMT. Furthermore, when comparing various routes of instillation and types of preparation of fecal microbiota, no difference was observed in cure rate. Despite the success rate of FMT, there remains a concern for transmission of infectious agents, such as Gram negative bacteremia or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), adverse events (diarrhea and abdominal pain), and reports of new diagnoses (inflammatory bowel disease, weight gain and irritable bowel syndrome). To lessen the risk of transmissible infections, donor screening should be performed, which includes screening for medical comorbidities and infectious pathogens in blood and feces. Scheduling complexities and reimbursement places an additional roadblock for using FMT. Microbiome-based therapies are being developed to eliminate the logistical challenges related to FMT. Large prospective and placebo-controlled studies are needed to evaluate the efficacy and long-term safety of FMT, so its use can be justified in clinical practice.