Therapeutic potential of fecal microbiota transplantation

Gastroenterology. 2013 Nov;145(5):946-53. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.08.058. Epub 2013 Sep 7.


There has been growing interest in the use of fecal microbiota for the treatment of patients with chronic gastrointestinal infections and inflammatory bowel diseases. Lately, there has also been interest in its therapeutic potential for cardiometabolic, autoimmune, and other extraintestinal conditions that were not previously considered to be associated with the intestinal microbiota. Although it is not clear if changes in the microbiota cause these conditions, we review the most current and best methods for performing fecal microbiota transplantation and summarize clinical observations that have implicated the intestinal microbiota in various diseases. We also discuss case reports of fecal microbiota transplantations for different disorders, including Clostridium difficile infection, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases, insulin resistance, multiple sclerosis, and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. There has been increasing focus on the interaction between the intestinal microbiome, obesity, and cardiometabolic diseases, and we explore these relationships and the potential roles of different microbial strains. We might someday be able to mine for intestinal bacterial strains that can be used in the diagnosis or treatment of these diseases.

Keywords: CDI; Clostridium difficile infection; FMT; Fecal Transplantation; Gutmicrobiota; Human Disease; IBD; NAFLD; NASH; SCFA; Therapy; UC; fecal microbiota transplantation; inflammatory bowel disease; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; short-chain fatty acid; ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Clostridioides difficile
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / microbiology
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / therapy*
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy*
  • Microbiota*
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Transplants*
  • Treatment Outcome