Fecal microbiota transplant
The principle of fecal microbiota transplant (FMT)–also called stool transplant–is to administer microorganisms found in the stools of a healthy donor to a patient (i.e. the recipient) in order to restore their gut microbiota balance.
Efficacy of FMT has only been successfully demonstrated for a single disease (recurrent Clostridium difficile colitis) but researchers are now focused on other therapeutic avenues. All diseases for which the gut microbiota is believed to play a role are drawing the interest of scientists: gastrointestinal diseases, neurological disorders such as autism, obesity, depression, etc.
Although the media only recently became interested in this topic, FMT is actually a very old medical practice. Its history goes all the way back to 4th-century China. How is FMT regulated? What are its potential future uses and its limits? Here is an overview of the current state of research on FMT.