WASHINGTON — Colonoscopic fecal microbiota transplant achieved a 91% success rate in treating patients with recurrent C. difficile infection, or CDI, according to a study presented here.
“Patients with [recurrent] CDI often fail multiple courses of standard [drug therapy],” Mark Mellow, MD, said at the American College of Gastroenterology’s Annual Scientific Meeting and Postgraduate Course. “[Fecal microbiota transplant] is a viable treatment option for patients who have had previous bouts of CDI.”
Study participants at five U.S. centers completed a 36-item questionnaire administered by mail or phone.
The mean response time to fecal microbiota transplant was 6 days, with a mean illness duration of 11 months. The mean follow-up duration was 17 months, and the response to transplant was sustained, with no patients developing recurrent CDI without subsequent antibiotics.
The CDI of study participants had previously failed to respond to alternative antibiotics, pulse and tapered vancomycin, and probiotics.
“We have to — as physicians and laymen — not think of stool as just a smelly and inert substance,” Mellow said. “It’s a very biologically active substance. We know that bacteria can secrete material that kills pathogens. … There are so many things that bacteria do.”