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Fecal Microbiota Transplants: Current Knowledge and Future Directions

  • Roxana Chis
  • Prameet M. Sheth
  • Elaine O. PetrofEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Physiology in Health and Disease book series (PIHD)

Abstract

The human gastrointestinal tract (GI) is home to an exceptionally diverse bacterial community, collectively referred to as the gut microbiota. These microbes play a pivotal role in modulating host physiology and immune response, in both gastrointestinal health and disease. There is evidence that alterations leading to an imbalance of the constituents of the gut microbiota, or dysbiosis, may contribute to several intestinal and extra-intestinal pathological states. These discoveries have led to exciting new microbe-based therapeutic developments, including reconstitution of bacterial communities, to reverse and correct dysbiosis. For instance, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), the process of infusing fecal matter from a healthy donor into a sick patient to restore a healthy microbiome in the recipient, has been used to treat recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (rCDI) and may hold promise for other gastrointestinal conditions. This chapter focuses on the key aspects of FMT, including methodology, physician and patient attitudes, safety and regulation, and its therapeutic potential for the treatment of rCDI and other gastrointestinal conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, and colorectal cancer.

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Copyright information

© The American Physiological Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roxana Chis
    • 1
  • Prameet M. Sheth
    • 2
  • Elaine O. Petrof
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Kingston General HospitalQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Kingston General HospitalQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  3. 3.Division of Infectious Diseases/GI Diseases Research Unit, Department of Medicine, Kingston General HospitalQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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