Fecal microbiota transplantation for relapsing Clostridium difficile infection in 26 patients: methodology and results

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2012 Feb;46(2):145-9. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e318234570b.


Goals: We aim to present a data detailing our success with fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and to provide a simple treatment protocol.

Background: Relapse is a common problem in patients treated for Clostridium difficile infection, often requiring prolonged courses of oral vancomycin with limited alternative treatment options. Administration of the entire fecal flora from a healthy individual to restore beneficial physiological species is referred to as FMT (also termed fecal bacteriotherapy or stool transplant). Although introduced over 50 years ago with high cure rates in published case series, FMT is neither routine practice nor widely available to patients.

Study: Twenty-six patients with relapsing C. difficile infection underwent FMT over a 28-month period. FMT was performed during colonoscopy by direct infusion of minimally processed donor stool.

Results: Twenty-four female and 2 male patients underwent FMT. The mean duration of CDI was 12.6 months (range, 4 to 84 mo) before FMT. These patients have been followed for a mean duration of 10.7 months (range, 2 to 30 mo). Twenty-four patients have remained free of significant diarrhea or CDI. One experienced loose stool and resumed vancomycin despite remaining C. difficile negative; she developed CDI recurrence 11 months post-FMT after taking cephalexin. Another had diarrhea 2 months post-FMT. Stool was not tested for C. difficile; she received 1 week of vancomycin and CDI did not recur after this.

Conclusions: FMT through colonoscopy was simple, safe, and 92% effective in preventing further diarrhea or CDI relapse in this group of 26 patients with recurrent CDI.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Clostridioides difficile*
  • Clostridium Infections / prevention & control*
  • Clostridium Infections / therapy
  • Colonoscopy* / adverse effects
  • Diarrhea / microbiology
  • Diarrhea / prevention & control
  • Diarrhea / therapy
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / microbiology
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / prevention & control*
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / therapy
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metagenome / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult