, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 101-103
Date: 03 Apr 2013

Fecal Bacteriotherapy for Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection: What’s Old Is New Again?

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Abstract

In recent years, effective management of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has emerged as an important issue for those clinicians who treat patients with CDI. In addition to antibiotic-based therapies, including alternating use, chaser, and tapering protocols, interest has increased in the potential utility of a variety of nonantibiotic forms of adjunctive therapy. Among these alternative forms of treatment, the concept of transferring extracts of a stool from donors to patients with CDI has been met with great interest among researchers, clinicians, and patients alike. Fecal bacteriotherapy, or so-called fecal microbiota transplantation, for therapy of CDI is a procedure that dates back to the 1950s. Recently, however, a variety of studies have garnered attention in the lay press, in addition to the standard scientific-reporting community. Although no well-controlled trials have been published as yet and the details of the procedures used have varied widely between institutions, the available evidence suggests that for selected patients, fecal bacteriotherapy appears to be generally safe and effective. Concerns about true efficacy and the theoretical potential for infectious complications have prevented widespread adoption of this concept as standard therapy, but its use in academic and community practices is on the rise.