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A review study finds that fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is not an effective treatment for “global” IBS symptoms. The study looked at 4 investigations of FMT as a viable treatment for IBS and included 254 participants. In looking at the results of all 4 studies, no significant improvements in IBS symptoms was observed when administering FMT over a 12-week period when compared to placebo. American Journal of Gastroenterology Takeaway: When you slice up the IBS pie, you see multiple different conditions that are causing symptoms – from stress and food allergies to undiagnosed colitis and microbial discord. But there is a clear subset within IBS called post-infectious IBS – this group includes people who have received lots of antibiotics and subsequently suffer from dysbiosis (gut bacteria imbalance). To find appropriate IBS candidates for FMT, the key is to look not just at the determining criteria for having IBS, but to…

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) receives an FDA safety alert due to adverse reactions in two individuals who underwent FMT and received stool from the same donor. The stool, infected with extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (E. coli) – a multi-drug resistant organism (MDRO) and therefore very challenging to treat – was administered to two immunocompromised adults, resulting in one death. FDA Takeaway: The FDA identified that more screening is needed throughout the stool donor process, including specific questions addressing risk factors for MDRO stool colonization and rejection for those donors who are at high risk – as well as testing for MDRO colonization in donor stool. FMT is an FDA approved therapy for recurrent C. diff. While research shows that FMT may result in positive improvements for some other conditions – inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), infectious diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and severe antibiotic-associated diarrhea – the…

Stool transplantation proves effective in reducing autism symptoms by nearly 50% two years post transplant. A recent study conducted a special type of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) known as Microbiota Transfer Therapy (MTT – a 10-week treatment process in which a stool transplant is performed daily for 7 to 8 weeks) and found that initial gut improvements (58% reduction in GI symptoms) as well as slow and steady positive changes in autism-related symptoms (language, social interaction, and behavior – quantified at a 45% reduction in overall symptoms) are lasting, even two years after the date of transplantation. Improvements in positive microbial markers, as well as increases in favorable species and diversity, also remained for the two years post transplant. Scientific Reports Takeaway: Today, approximately 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), an exponential increase from 1 in every 150 in 2000. Despite such a weighty percentage of…

Super-donors could be the key to fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) success. While FMT is an approved treatment for C. diff infection, it has shown very little promise in treating other dysbiosis (gut bacteria imbalance) –related chronic diseases. A recent review article looked at the evidence supporting the idea of FMT “super donors”; donors who possess specific microbial composition and diversity in their stool, “keystone” bacterial species by condition, and how the concept of super-donors could be the foundation of dysbiosis-matched FMT. Frontiers in Cellular and Infectious Microbiology →Takeaway: While dysbiosis is an overall term to describe gut bacteria imbalance, each disease and condition has its own dysbiosis road map with large variations in bacteria species. This article hypothesizes that there is no “one stool fits all” approach. For FMT to be successful, stool composition and diversity, as well as the microbial footprint of the disease the stool is aiming to treat, must be taken into…

Common stool processing techniques (such as freeze thawing or blending in oxygen) for fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) may significantly reduce efficacy of the procedure. Using a process called PMA, which differentiates between dead and live bacteria and discards the DNA data for dead bacteria, scientists found that even when using the best stool processing protocols available, approximately 50 to 80% of the bacteria in FMT stool samples were destroyed. Unfortunately the types of bacteria most negatively affected are commensal obligate anaerobes, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties. These types of bacteria produce a metabolite called butyrate that plays a key role in reducing inflammation in the body. Even when using best stool processing practices, the ability of the transplanted bacteria to produce butyrate was very low and was nearly zero when the stool was processed in oxygen. Healio →Takeaway: These findings tell us that current stool processing techniques have significant negative impacts on transplanted…