The fecal microbiota transplantation response differs between patients with severe and moderate irritable bowel symptoms

Scand J Gastroenterol. 2022 Sep;57(9):1036-1045. doi: 10.1080/00365521.2022.2064725. Epub 2022 Apr 29.


Objectives: Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a promising intervention for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The present study aimed to identify any differences in FMT response between patients with severe and moderate IBS symptoms.

Materials and method: The study included the 164 patients who participated in our previous study, of which 96 (58.5%) and 68 (41.5%) had severe (S-IBS-S) and moderate (Mo-IBS-S) IBS, respectively. The patients were randomly divided into a placebo group (own feces) and 30-g and 60-g (donor feces) FMT groups. Patients completed three questionnaires that assessed their symptoms and quality of life at baseline and at 2 weeks, 1 month, and 3 months after FMT, and provided fecal samples before and 1 month after FMT. The fecal bacteria were analyzed using the 16S rRNA gene in PCR DNA amplification covering the V3-V9 variable genes.

Results: Response rates of the placebo group did not differ between S-IBS-S and Mo-IBS-S patients at 2 weeks, 1 month and 3 months after FMT. The response rates in the active treatment group were higher in S-IBS-S patients than in Mo-IBS-S patients at each observation time. FMT reduced abdominal symptoms and fatigue and improved the quality of life in patients with both severe and moderate IBS. Patients with S-IBS-S had higher levels of Eubacterium siraeum, and lower levels of Eubacterium rectale than Mo-IBS-S, after FMT.

Conclusion: Patients with S-IBS-S have a higher response rate to FMT and a marked improvement in fatigue and in quality of life compared with those with Mo-IBS-S. The clinical trial registration number is NCT03822299 and is available at

Keywords: Dysbiosis index; Eubacterium rectale; Eubacterium siraeum; fatigue; microbiota; quality of life; short-chain fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Fatigue
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Quality of Life
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Treatment Outcome


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S

Associated data