Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) is a treatment which is being studied for treating recurrent urinary tract infections, obesity, and other gastrointestinal conditions.
FMT is a procedure in which stool is transferred from a healthy donor into the patient’s intestine. This medical procedure is also known as a stool transplant.
FMT is done to treat Clostridium difficile infection(CDI). CDI is a gut infection which occurs due to the spore-forming bacteria. CDI causes fever, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
People suffering from CDI is often treated with antibiotics such as fidaxomicin or oral vancomycin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infection usually returns in 20% of patients.
FMT helps restore healthy bacterias back into the intestine which is otherwise decreased due to use of antibiotics. FMT helps clear the infection.
This procedure includes a colonoscopy. During colonoscopy small amounts of filtered and liquefied stool is put into the colon. Other procedure may also include capsules or enema.
Stool is obtained from a healthy family member or from stool banks. Stool banks ensure the donor is free of illness. There are also certain side effects of this procedure. The effects are mild like diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or cramps.
The idea for studying FMT in obese patients is to understand the impacts of gut bacteria on body weight. The study includes the transfer of intestinal bacteria from a healthy, fit person to a person suffering from obesity.
During this study, the patients will intake FMT capsules from healthy donors to study the effects of insulin sensitivity and body weight.
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is studying the treatment and official approval is not yet received. FDA specifies that the doctor should have proper consent from the patient before performing this treatment. The consent should include a section specifying FMT treatment to be an “investigational drug” for treating Clostridium difficile infection.
A full acceptance of this treatment is yet awaited globally. Ongoing trials will help provide a better insight into the further treatment of FMT.
The use of FMT treatment is not adviced to be done at home. This procedure should only be performed by a doctor or physician.