Frozen fecal transplants cure C. diff, could be a game-changer, researchers say

Share this article:

Fecal transplants to cure Clostridium difficile could become more common, following a trial that successfully used frozen stool specimens, according to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Fecal transplants have proven successful in rebalancing gut bacteria that are affected by C. diff, a potentially fatal antibiotic-resistant infection that is common in long-term care settings. However, it can be difficult to find and screen donors for each procedure. To address this impediment, researchers at MGH undertook a feasibility study using frozen fecal matter from donors unrelated to the patients, which could be administered either through colonoscopy or nasogastric tube. 

After a first round, 14 of 20 participants were cured of their C. diff-related diarrhea, according to the researchers. Five received another round of treatment and four of these individuals were cured, for a total cure rate of 90%.*

The results suggest that “banks” of frozen fecal matter could be created to expedite transplants when needed, the investigators wrote. Furthermore, administration through nasogastric tube, which is less invasive than colonoscopy, could be a life-saver for frail seniors who develop the condition, they noted in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The Food and Drug Administration has moved to increase fecal transplant regulations, but backed off plans to exercise strict control after healthcare providers protested.

*Editor's Note: This article originally stated that five patients were cured by a second dose.

Share this article:

More in News

Genesis, Skilled Healthcare merger to create huge long-term care provider with more than 500 facilities

Genesis, Skilled Healthcare merger to create huge long-term ...

Genesis HealthCare and Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. will merge to create a single long-term and post-acute care company with more than 500 facilities nationwide, the providers announced Tuesday.

Antipsychotic use tied to acute kidney injury, increasing pressure on nursing home ...

Older people who take antipsychotic medications are at a markedly increased risk of acute kidney injury, according to newly published research findings out of Canada. The study further supports ongoing efforts to reduce the number of nursing home residents on these drugs.

Family alleges long-term care facility banned them due to social media posts, ...

Family members of a Texas long-term care resident have sued the facility where she lives, claiming they were banned from visiting due to their social media posts, according to a publication covering legal proceedings in the state.