Fecal transplant: sustainable colonization


Fecal transplant sustainably changes the intestinal microbiota in patients with recurring Clostridium difficile infection.


That is what American researchers have concluded  after monitoring for a period of two years patients who had received a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT). Until then, no study had evaluated the long-term stability of the bacterial community transmitted to a recipient via FMT. Now it has been done by a team that used a SNV* detection technique to identify the microbial fingerprint unique to each individual. In this way, the outcome of strains from the fecal flora of six donors could be monitored in the intestine during the “post-FMT period,” lasting from one to six months in  seven recipients and two years post-FMT in two recipients. The analysis showed that the result of FMT is heterogenous and depends on the recipient and their original microbiota. Bacteroides spp. was the most common donor bacterial genus found in the recipients. B. ovatus, B. stercoris, B. massiliensis, B. celluloslyticus, B. vulgatus frequently colonized the recipients’ intestines, but B. eggerthii and B. uniformis were found more rarely. Furthermore, the authors noted that bacterial recolonization did not happen in the same way in two patients who shared the same donor, especially regarding some Bacteroides spp.. Lastly, certain strains transmitted by the donor persisted in the recipient for several months, or even several years. This discovery allows us a glimpse at the potential uses of TMF in other gastrointestinal diseases, with its ability to impact potential recipients’ intestinal microbiota over a relatively long time period (two years).


*single-nucleotide variants


Kumar R et al. Identification of donor microbe species that colonize and persist long term in the recipient after fecal transplant for recurrent Clostridium difficile. npj Biofilms and Microbiomes (2017)3:12