June 22, 2018

Stool Processing Techniques Significantly Reduce FMT Efficacy

Common stool processing techniques (such as freeze thawing or blending in oxygen) for fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) may significantly reduce efficacy of the procedure. Using a process called PMA, which differentiates between dead and live bacteria and discards the DNA data for dead bacteria, scientists found that even when using the best stool processing protocols available, approximately 50 to 80% of the bacteria in FMT stool samples were destroyed. Unfortunately the types of bacteria most negatively affected are commensal obligate anaerobes, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties. These types of bacteria produce a metabolite called butyrate that plays a key role in reducing inflammation in the body. Even when using best stool processing practices, the ability of the transplanted bacteria to produce butyrate was very low and was nearly zero when the stool was processed in oxygen. Healio

→Takeaway: These findings tell us that current stool processing techniques have significant negative impacts on transplanted bacteria used in FMT and may deem FMT useless for inflammatory-related diseases and conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis).