Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pilot study suggests ways to widen access to fecal transplants for C. diff infections

24.04.2014

Using frozen stool from healthy, unrelated donors was safe and effective in treating patients with serious, relapsing diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile, according to a new pilot study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and available online.

Known as fecal microbiota transplantation, the treatment was equally effective whether given via a colonoscope or a nasogastric tube. The findings suggest approaches that may make this promising treatment more readily available to patients.

A growing concern, C. difficile causes 250,000 infections requiring hospitalization and 14,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infection incidence has tripled in the last 15 years and is responsible for at least $1 billion in excess U.S. medical costs per year.

In an initial feasibility study, Ilan Youngster, MD, and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) treated 20 patients suffering from repeated episodes of C. difficile infection with fecal microbiota transplantation, which helps restore the normal balance of bacteria in the affected person's gut. Fourteen of the patients were cured after one administration of donated stool. Of the remaining six patients, five received a second administration, and four were cured, for an overall cure rate of 90 percent.

Unlike previous studies, which used fresh stools from donors, the team at MGH worked with frozen material from unrelated donors who had been recruited and screened well ahead of time, a "banking" approach that may help overcome current treatment barriers.

"Establishing a repository of prescreened frozen donor stools could make this treatment available for a wider population," the authors noted, as donor recruitment and screening can be lengthy and costly. The Food and Drug Administration is currently determining how it will regulate fecal microbiota transplantation, including what steps clinicians must take to provide it to patients.

For their first administration, patients were assigned to one of two delivery methods, using either a colonoscope or a nasogastric tube, inserted in the nose and down into the stomach. Both appeared to be equally effective. Patients who required a second infusion were allowed to choose between the two methods, and all five chose the nasogastric tube.

"Colonoscopy is a significant procedure requiring sedation," said Elizabeth L. Hohmann, MD, of MGH and a study co-author, while the nasogastric tube method "is an outpatient office procedure."

The study's findings suggest the latter would be a "cost-effective, upper gastrointestinal route" for transplantation, Dr. Hohmann said, particularly for elderly or debilitated patients who may not tolerate a colonoscopy. The researchers are now studying placing the donated material into a frozen capsule, which patients would take orally.

###

Fast Facts:

1. A significant cause of life-threatening diarrhea, Clostridium difficile is responsible for 250,000 infections requiring hospitalization and 14,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Relapsing infections are a serious problem.

2. This initial feasibility study found that using frozen stool from healthy, unrelated donors was safe and effective in treating a small group of patients with relapsing C. difficile infections, with an overall cure rate of 90 percent.

3. The treatment, known as fecal microbiota transplantation, appeared to be equally effective whether given via a colonoscope or a nasogastric tube.

Editor's note: The authors' affiliations, acknowledgments, and disclosures of financial support and potential conflicts of interests are available in the article, which is embargoed until 12:01 a.m. EDT on Thursday, April 24. To obtain an embargoed copy of the article, please contact Jerica Pitts at jpitts@pcipr.com or 312-558-1770.

Clinical Infectious Diseases is a leading journal in the field of infectious disease with a broad international readership. The journal publishes articles on a variety of subjects of interest to practitioners and researchers. Topics range from clinical descriptions of infections, public health, microbiology, and immunology to the prevention of infection, the evaluation of current and novel treatments, and the promotion of optimal practices for diagnosis and treatment. The journal publishes original research, editorial commentaries, review articles, and practice guidelines and is among the most highly cited journals in the field of infectious diseases. Clinical Infectious Diseases is an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Based in Arlington, Va., IDSA is a professional society representing nearly 10,000 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases. For more information, visit http://www.idsociety.org. Follow IDSA on Facebook and Twitter.

Jerica Pitts | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: C. difficile IDSA Infectious MGH feasibility infections microbiota transplants

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Proteomics and precision medicine
08.02.2016 | University of Iowa Health Care

nachricht Scientists create imaging 'toolkit' to help identify new brain tumor drug targets
02.02.2016 | eLife

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Production of an AIDS vaccine in algae

Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.

The use of plants and microorganisms to produce pharmaceuticals is nothing new. In 1982, bacteria were genetically modified to produce human insulin, a drug...

Im Focus: The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...

Im Focus: Goodbye ground control: autonomous nanosatellites

The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.

Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...

Im Focus: Flow phenomena on solid surfaces: Physicists highlight key role played by boundary layer velocity

Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.

The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

From intelligent knee braces to anti-theft backpacks

26.01.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fish fins can sense touch

11.02.2016 | Life Sciences

New paths for generation of ultracold molecules

11.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Southwest sliding into a drier climate

11.02.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>