Fecal microbiota transplantation and Clostridioides difficile infection among privately insured patients in the United States

J Gastroenterol. 2021 Sep 8. doi: 10.1007/s00535-021-01822-y. Online ahead of print.


Background: Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) may be rising in severity in the US over the past decade and its treatment landscape is changing given the recent adoption of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) METHODS: We built a retrospective observational cohort using a database of a national care-plan containing medical claims of over 50 million individuals between 2008 and 2019. We used International Classification of Disease (ICD) and prescription data to identify patients with CDI. We estimated trends in disease burden and FMT use, and evaluated complications post FMT using a phenome-wide association approach.

Results: We identified 38,396 patients with CDI; the median age was 60 years (IQR 45-74) and 60% were female (n = 23,374). The rate of CDI increased from 33.4 to 69.46 cases per 100,000 person-years between 2008 and 2015, and stabilized from 2015 to 2019 (increase of 4.77 cases per 100,000 person-years per year, 95% CI 3.55-5.98 prior to 2015 vs. 2.01 95% CI - 10.16 to 14.18 after 2015). Of the 7715 patients with recurrent CDI, 407 patients (5%) underwent FMT. Gastrointestinal complications were increased within 1 month post FMT (OR 99.60, p < 0.001). Sepsis was identified in two individuals (0.49% 95% CI 0.05-1.7%) within the first month post FMT. The risk of CDI recurrence significantly decreased post FMT compared with anti-CDI antibiotics in the multivariable model (raw-recurrence rate 9.8% vs 36%, aOR = 0.21, 95% CI 0.12-0.53, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: We show that FMT is strongly associated with a decrease in CDI recurrence compared with the usual care with generally mild complications for up to 2 years.

Keywords: Biomedical informatics; Clostridioides difficile; Fecal microbiota transplantation.