Current Evidence in Delivery and Therapeutic Uses of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Human Diseases-Clostridium difficile Disease and Beyond

Am J Med Sci. 2018 Nov;356(5):424-432. doi: 10.1016/j.amjms.2018.08.010. Epub 2018 Sep 5.


The use of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) was first described in China in the 4th century by Ge Hong when "yellow soup," a fecal slurry, was administered for the treatment of severe food poisoning and diarrhea, a practice that continued for centuries. Bedouin groups also consumed stools of their camels as a remedy for dysentery. FMT was also applied in veterinary medicine in Europe in the 16th century. Additional therapeutic use of human excretions was described in Europe in the 18th and 19th century and in World War II, when gut bacteria were administered to German soldiers suffering from dysentery in the North African campaign. More scientifically, Eismann, in 1958, utilized fecal transplantation via enema in 4 patients for the treatment of severe pseudomembranous colitis with success. Following this report a number of isolated cases were published describing the use of FMT by different delivery routes for the treatment of a variety of illnesses.

Keywords: Fecal Microbiota Transplantation.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clostridioides difficile / physiology*
  • Clostridium Infections / history*
  • Clostridium Infections / therapy
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / history
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / therapy
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation / history*
  • History, 15th Century
  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • History, Ancient
  • History, Medieval
  • Humans