What is Fecal Microbiota Transplantation?

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a relatively new treatment that is over 90% effective in treating recurrent C. difficile infections in patients who have failed to recover using antibiotics. FMT transplants a fecal preparation from carefully screened, healthy stool donors into the colon of the patient through one of multiple routes: colonoscopy, nasoenteric tube, or capsules.

Dayton Gastroenterology is proud to work with OpenBiome to help people reconstitute their gut bacteria. OpenBiome is a nonprofit stool bank and research platform that works to make fecal transplants safe and affordable for patients suffering from recurrent C. difficile. OpenBiome also researches FMT’s role in treating other gastrointestinal diseases.

Why Do I Need FMT?

If a patient doesn’t respond to antibiotic treatment for C. difficile, as C. difficile can form spores that are resistant to antibiotics, the antibiotic has disrupted the ecosystem by killing the protective bacteria. By utilizing fecal transplant, an infusion of healthy bacteria outcompetes the C. difficile.

Fecal microbiota transplantation is also being researched to treat other gastrointestinal disease such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease.

What Are the Benefits of FMT?

It is thought that fecal transplants work by repopulating the patient’s microbiome with diverse microorganisms that competitively exclude C. difficile. By utilizing fecal transplant, an infusion of healthy bacteria outcompetes the C. difficile.

Are There Side Effects and/or Risks to FMT?

FMT is a powerful tool for treating C. difficile infection, but there are also some risks involved with the procedure. Stool donors are carefully screened for known infectious agents prior to donation, but there is always a risk that the tests may fail to detect a pathogen. There can also be procedural risks associated with receiving FMT by colonoscopy or other administration methods.

I would like to learn more about FMT.

Please contact us to ask questions about FMT or to set up an appointment with your doctor to discuss this course of treatment.