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Fecal Microbiota Transplantation: Therapeutic Potential for a Multitude of Diseases beyond

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  • Authors: Guido J. Bakker1, Max Nieuwdorp2,3,4
  • Editors: Robert Allen Britton5, Patrice D. Cani6
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Internal and Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, Netherlands; 2: Department of Internal and Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, Netherlands; 3: Wallenberg Laboratory, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; 4: Department of Internal Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands; 5: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX; 6: Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium
  • Source: microbiolspec August 2017 vol. 5 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.BAD-0008-2017
  • Received 24 July 2016 Accepted 17 January 2017 Published 25 August 2017
  • Guido Bakker, [email protected]
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  • Abstract:

    The human intestinal tract contains trillions of bacteria, collectively called the gut microbiota. Recent insights have linked the gut microbiota to a plethora of diseases, including infection (CDI), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and metabolic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is currently tested as a therapeutic option in various diseases and can also help to dissect association from causality with respect to gut microbiota and disease. In CDI, FMT has been shown to be superior to antibiotic treatment. For IBD, T2D, and NASH, several placebo-controlled randomized controlled trials are under way. Moreover, techniques and standardization are developing. With the extension of FMT as a treatment modality in diseases other than CDI, a whole new treatment option may be emerging. Moreover, correlating alterations in specific strains to disease outcome may prove pivotal in finding new bacterial targets. Thus, although causality of the gut microbiota in various diseases still needs to be proven, FMT may prove to be a powerful tool providing us with diagnostic and therapeutic leads.

  • Citation: Bakker G, Nieuwdorp M. 2017. Fecal Microbiota Transplantation: Therapeutic Potential for a Multitude of Diseases beyond . Microbiol Spectrum 5(4):BAD-0008-2017. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.BAD-0008-2017.


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The human intestinal tract contains trillions of bacteria, collectively called the gut microbiota. Recent insights have linked the gut microbiota to a plethora of diseases, including infection (CDI), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and metabolic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is currently tested as a therapeutic option in various diseases and can also help to dissect association from causality with respect to gut microbiota and disease. In CDI, FMT has been shown to be superior to antibiotic treatment. For IBD, T2D, and NASH, several placebo-controlled randomized controlled trials are under way. Moreover, techniques and standardization are developing. With the extension of FMT as a treatment modality in diseases other than CDI, a whole new treatment option may be emerging. Moreover, correlating alterations in specific strains to disease outcome may prove pivotal in finding new bacterial targets. Thus, although causality of the gut microbiota in various diseases still needs to be proven, FMT may prove to be a powerful tool providing us with diagnostic and therapeutic leads.

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Causality of the gut microbiota in different diseases. The gut microbiota may have various levels of causality in diffent diseases. Diseases that have a more complex pathophysiology may respond less to fecal microbiota transplantation. ESBL, extended spectrum beta-lactamase producer; VRE, vancomycin-resistant enterococci; IBD, inflammatory bowel disease; IBS, irritable bowel syndrome; T2D, type 2 diabetes. Modified from with permission of the publisher.

Source: microbiolspec August 2017 vol. 5 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.BAD-0008-2017
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Recommended analyses for screening of fecal donors

Source: microbiolspec August 2017 vol. 5 no. 4 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.BAD-0008-2017

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