Origins of bloodstream infections following fecal microbiota transplantation: a strain-level analysis

Blood Adv. 2022 Jan 25;6(2):568-573. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021005110.


We observed high rates of bloodstream infections (BSIs) following fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for graft-versus-host-disease (33 events in 22 patients). To trace the BSIs' origin, we applied a metagenomic bioinformatic pipeline screening donor and recipient stool samples for bacteremia-causing strains in 13 cases. Offending strains were not detected in FMT donations. Enterococcus faecium, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter baumannii could be detected in stool samples before emerging in the blood. In this largest report of BSIs post-FMT, we present an approach that may be applicable for evaluating BSI origin following microbiota-based interventions. Our findings support FMT safety in immunocompromised patients but do not rule out FMT as an inducer of bacterial translocation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteremia* / etiology
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
  • Graft vs Host Disease*
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Microbiota*