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Fecal Microbiota Transplant(FMT)

The intestinal microbiome is essential for maintaining human health and defending against intestinal pathogens. Alterations of the intestinal microbiota, also termed dysbiosis, play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of various human diseases. Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is aimed at correcting these alterations by delivering faecal microorganisms from a healthy person to the intestines of a patient. At present, recurrent Clostridium difficile infection is the only indication supported by solid scientific evidence, but many ongoing studies are investigating FMT in other dysbiosis-related diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

As there are no systematic methodological investigations, several questions about techniques, donor screening and safety issues remain. This shortage of evidence, especially on long-term safety concerns, is leading to worldwide controversy regarding the use of FMT. Regulations by healthcare authorities vary among different countries. This review reflects the Austrian situation and its FMT guidelines concerning indications, techniques and donor screening, recently developed by local scientific societies.

FMT has been used experimentally to treat other gastrointestinal diseases, including colitis, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and neurological conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s. In the United States, human feces has been regulated as an experimental drug since 2013.

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is well recognized as a treatment modality with a 90% success in patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (RCDI). More recently, colonic FMT has been applied to severe CDI patients by Fisher et al with a success rate of 42%.