Faecal Microbiology Therapy (FMT) is therapy for recurrent and severe Clostridium Intractable Infection (C-Diff). C-Diff is a bacterium that is present in the intestines of some people, and their problems can range from a mild illness with diarrhoea to a severe, life-threatening condition requiring hospitalisation. Antibiotics are commonly used to keep the infection under control. However, a course of treatment like this does not bring down a very high recurrence rate, and there may not be a painful condition.
FMT can create a colony of bacteria that more effectively suppresses C-diff. This process is a faecal donation placing faeces from another person into the intestines of patients with C-Diff. FMT is very useful in patients who are acutely or chronically ill, as well as those whose condition does not improve with conventional antibiotic treatment. In patients who have had three or more recurrences, the success rate usually reaches 90%.
To date, experience has shown that FMT is surprisingly safe. As long as adequately tested people act as donors, the risk of transmitting infection or disease from donor to recipient is extremely rare. The risks of FMT are mainly those associated with the procedure required for grafting donor stools (colonoscopy or endoscopy).
Patients who require FMT are often seriously ill and sometimes are in a state threatening their lives. It is important to note that the FMT is still a researched therapy with uncertainty about long-term safety, but most importantly, the procedure gives hope of a final recovery to patients who, from a medical point of view, have incurable conditions.
A conventional method is to transfer a sample of stool during a colonoscopy. Ideally, the patient undergoes standard preparation for colonoscopy. According to the procedure, the patient is adequately sedated, and the faecal matter is planted into the upper part of the colon.
There are some cases when a more suitable method is to place a sample of faeces on top, i.e. endoscopically, where the endoscope reaches the end of the stomach.
Pill forms of therapy are not yet available for standard use.
Initially, with this procedure, a sample of faeces was donated by a family member or friend, after being tested for blood and faeces, that a person does not have transmitted diseases, such as hepatitis. It was a long, expensive and painstaking study that was not covered by insurance costs.
Studies have shown that frozen stool specimens are also effective in “curing” C-Diff. That is why in 2013, the clinic began to receive samples from the frozen stool bank stored in medical centres, where they are in the right amount and are available for use if necessary. Donors undergo extensive screening with physical expertise, history studies and numerous analyses confirming current health.