Systematic review of intestinal microbiota transplantation (fecal bacteriotherapy) for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection

Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Nov;53(10):994-1002. doi: 10.1093/cid/cir632.

Abstract

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a gastrointestinal disease believed to be causally related to perturbations to the intestinal microbiota. When standard treatment has failed, intestinal microbiota transplantation (IMT) is an alternative therapy for patients with CDI. IMT involves infusing intestinal microorganisms (in a suspension of healthy donor stool) into the intestine of a sick patient to restore the microbiota. However, protocols and reported efficacy for IMT vary. We conducted a systematic literature review of IMT treatment for recurrent CDI and pseudomembranous colitis. In 317 patients treated across 27 case series and reports, IMT was highly effective, showing disease resolution in 92% of cases. Effectiveness varied by route of instillation, relationship to stool donor, volume of IMT given, and treatment before infusion. Death and adverse events were uncommon. These findings can guide physicians interested in implementing the procedure until better designed studies are conducted to confirm best practices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Clostridium Infections / therapy*
  • Clostridium difficile*
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / therapy*
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Metagenome
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome