Fecal Transplant-an Old Way in a New Technology


We are much known to bacteria as well as antibiotic as anti-bacterial agent. But nowadays we have been becoming resistant to anti-bacterial agent because of the misuse of it. Science is working day and night on how to reduce this resistance; how to fight with the side effects. More the science develops more it finds useful techniques. A wonder of science is “Fecal Transplant”; seems interesting!

Fecal Transplant or Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) is a process in which, from a tested donor fecal stuff or stool is collected. Then it is mixed with a saline or other solution, strained, and placed in a patient by endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy or enema.

Though it has been reinvented in this new century, the practice was documented in the fourth century in China. Than over the 100 years it has been used for veterinary treatment. In many countries it has been used as the first line defense or choice of treatment as a preventive barrier against Clostridium difficile. In some custom of the world it has been found that a new born infant have to take a small amount of mother’s stool which have been thought to useful for the faster growth of good bacteria in the baby’s colon that fasts the development of baby’s immune system. C. defficile causes C. defficile colitis infection in which toxins are produced that damages the lining of the colon. That result in diarrhea and abdominal cramping associated with fever.

Curiosity may counter why we should use this fecal transplant rather than using any antibiotics to kill C. difficile. Conceptually, physicians have found that C. difficile colitis may occur and recur due to antibiotic disturbed patient’s intestinal microflora, on other word it is microbiome.

Alteration of this microbiome will lead a patient to a condition known as dysbiosis in which intestinal living organisms are no longer capable of protect themselves against C. difficile infection. Feces transplantation with a healthy diversity of bacteria can re-establish the resistance against C. difficile and prevent them from becoming a foremost organism in the gut environment.

The patients who have experienced at least three recurrences of C. difficile colitis most commonly be given this treatment when all the conventional therapies have failed.

Fecal transport is not common to patients; to some it may seem to be difficult or costly. Surprisingly it is of low cost and risk and highly effective treatment. Fecal transplantation has not been yet covered by many of the countries, but scientists have not loss their hope as day by day the number of interested people is increasing.

There may be good information for us that fecal transplantation can be performed by synthetic feces which is made from 33 bacteria species by culturing in a devise called RoBogut which actually mimics the human gut. This technique has become a remarkable step for the treatment of C. difficile colitis.

Fecal transplant has become popular in the US in the past few years though the reported number of patient treatment is below 500. In 2013, FDA has announced fecal transplant under Investigational New Drug Category and a Biologic. In the June of 2013, FDA approved this treatment only for recurrent of C. difficile. The process is done by testing the stool of donor.

Primarily fecal transplantation is using for the treatment of C. difficile but studies are ongoing to establish fecal transplant in the treatment of other disease. Till now physicians have restricted experience on fecal transplant. Continuous studies should be conducted so that physician can precisely conduct fecal transplantation. Awareness programmes should be arranged to make patient known about the procedure and its usefulness.

This unusual and old trend of treatment has brought a new hope in the medical science which should not be neglected because of the lack of research.

Farzana Khan Sristy is a pharmacy student, has completed her graduation under the department of Pharmacy, East West University. She has interest on recent development of treatment methods and drugs. She is doing her research on Phytochemical activities. Farzana is a student correspondent at Association of Life Science and Engineering Writers (ALSEW). She can be reached at farzana_sristy@yahoo.com

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