Fecal microbiota transplantation in the treatment of Clostridium difficile infections

Am J Med. 2014 Jun;127(6):479-83. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.02.017. Epub 2014 Feb 26.


In recent years, Clostridium difficile infections have become more frequent, more severe, more refractory to standard treatment, and more likely to recur. Current antibiotic treatment regimens for Clostridium difficile infection alter the normal gut flora, which provide colonization resistance against Clostridium difficile. Over the past few years, there has been a marked increase in the knowledge of the gut microbiota and its role in health maintenance and disease causation. This has, fortuitously, coincided with the use of a unique microbial replacement therapy, fecal microbiota transplantation, in the treatment of patients with multiple recurrent Clostridium difficile infections. We briefly review current knowledge of the gut microbiota's functions. We then review the indications for use of fecal microbiota transplantation in Clostridium difficile infection, the techniques employed, and results of treatment. Fecal microbiota transplantation has been shown to be efficacious for patients with multiply recurrent Clostridium difficile infections (reported cure rates of 90%), with an excellent short-term safety profile, and has been included in the American College of Gastroenterology treatment guidelines for this troublesome disease.

Keywords: Clostridium difficile infections; Diarrhea; Fecal microbiota transplantation; Gut microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clostridioides difficile*
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / drug therapy
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / microbiology
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / therapy*
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Microbiota*
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents