Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fecal transplants restore healthy bacteria and gut functions

Date:
June 17, 2014
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
Fecal microbiota transplantation -- the process of delivering stool bacteria from a healthy donor to a patient suffering from intestinal infection with the bacterium Clostridium difficile -- works by restoring healthy bacteria and functioning to the recipient's gut, according to a new study.

Fecal microbiota transplantation -- the process of delivering stool bacteria from a healthy donor to a patient suffering from intestinal infection with the bacterium Clostridium difficile -- works by restoring healthy bacteria and functioning to the recipient's gut, according to a study published this week in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

The study provides insight into the structural and potential metabolic changes that occur following fecal transplant, says senior author Vincent B. Young, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases and the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The transplants, which have been successful at curing more than 90 percent of recipients, have been used successfully since the 1950s, he says, though it hasn't been clear how they work to recover gut function.

"The bottom line is fecal transplants work, and not by just supplying a missing bug but a missing function being carried out by multiple organisms in the transplanted feces," Young says. "By restoring this function, C. difficile isn't allowed to grow unchecked, and the whole ecosystem is able to recover."

Young and colleagues used DNA sequencing to study the composition and structure of fecal microbiota (bacteria) in stool samples from 14 patients before and two to four weeks after fecal transplant. In 10 of the patients, researchers also compared stool samples before and after transplant to samples from their donors. All transplant patients, treated at the Essentia Health Duluth Clinic in Minnesota, had a history of at least two recurrent C. difficile infections following an initial infection and failed antibiotic therapy.

Studying families of bacteria in the samples, investigators found marked differences among donor, pre-transplant and post-transplant samples. However, those from the donors and post-transplant patients were most similar to each other, indicating that the transplants at least partially returned a diverse community of healthy gut bacteria to the recipients. While not as robust as their donors, the bacterial communities in patients after transplant showed a reduced amount of Proteobacteria, which include a variety of infectious agents, and an increased amount of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes bacteria typically found in healthy individuals, compared to their pre-transplant status.

Then, using a predictive software tool, researchers analyzed the relationship between the community structure of the micoorganisms and their function, presumably involved in maintaining resistance against CDI.

They identified 75 metabolic/functional pathways prevalent in the samples. The samples taken from patients before transplant had decreased levels of several modules related to basic metabolism and production of chemicals like amino acids and carbohydrates, but were enriched in pathways associated with stress response, compared to donor samples or post-transplant samples.

CDI has significantly increased during the past decade, Young says, with previous studies estimating there are more than 500,000 cases of CDI in the United States annually, with health care costs ranging from $1.3 billion to $3.4 billion. Up to 40 percent of patients suffer from recurrence of disease following standard antibiotic treatment. In a healthy person, gut microorganisms limit infections but antibiotics are believed to disrupt the normal structure of these microoganisms, rendering the gut less able to prevent infection with C. difficile.

Further identification of the specific microorganisms and functions that promote resistance of bacterial colonization, or growth, may aid in the development of improved CDI treatments, Young says: "If we can understand the functions that are missing, we can identify supplemental bacteria or chemicals that could be given therapeutically to help restore proper gut function."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anna M. Seekatz, Johannes Aas, Charles E. Gessert, Timothy A. Rubin, Daniel M. Saman, Johan S. Bakken, and Vincent B. Young. Recovery of the Gut Microbiome following Fecal Microbiota Transplantation. mBio, 5:3 May/June 2014 DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00893-14

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Fecal transplants restore healthy bacteria and gut functions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140617093814.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2014, June 17). Fecal transplants restore healthy bacteria and gut functions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140617093814.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Fecal transplants restore healthy bacteria and gut functions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140617093814.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins