NIAID-funded study could offset harsh effects of antibiotics
Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have shown that autologous fecal microbiota transplantation (auto-FMT) is a safe and effective way to help replenish beneficial gut bacteria in cancer patients who require intense antibiotics during allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
In their study, patients who underwent the procedure were randomly assigned into two groups: one group received standard care and the other received auto-FMT. The researchers found that auto-FMT resulted in the recovery of beneficial gut bacteria to near baseline levels within days, thus restoring patients' digestive, immune and other essential functions.
With standard care, beneficial bacteria typically take many weeks to recover from antibiotic treatment, leaving patients at risk of other infectious diseases, including Clostridium difficile.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, provided funding for part of the project. The study report appears in Science Translational Medicine.
"This important study suggests that clinical intervention using auto-FMT can safely reverse the disruptive effects of broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "If validated in larger studies, this approach may prove to be a relatively simple way to quickly restore a person's healthy microbiome following intensive antimicrobial therapy."
Allogenic hematopoietic cell transplantation involves a donor--often but not exclusively a family member--who gives the recipient stem cells that re-establish bone marrow production of blood cells and immune function to combat cancer.
Antibiotics are essential to prevent bacterial infections in stem cell recipients. However, antibiotics also destroy beneficial bacteria that enhance immune function and resistance to infection. The loss of beneficial bacteria increases the risk of certain life-threatening infectious diseases and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).
The study involved cancer patients who provided their own fecal sample, which was frozen and stored prior to their cell transplantation procedure. Weeks later, when physicians confirmed that the transplanted cells were growing, they assessed the status of the patients' beneficial gut bacteria. The first 25 patients who lacked known beneficial bacteria were enrolled into the study and randomly assigned to the different treatment groups: 14 received auto-FMT by enema and 11 received standard-of-care.
The patients who received auto-FMT consistently regained bacterial diversity, composition and function; recovery of beneficial bacteria in the 11 control patients was delayed.
The researchers are continuing to monitor the study patients to determine if auto-FMT improves patient outcomes, such as the incidence and severity of bacterial, viral and fungal infections and the incidence and severity of GVHD. Whether FMT from a healthy donor would be as beneficial as the patient's own fecal sample at restoring beneficial bacteria remains to be studied.
This research was supported by NIH grant U01 AI12427. Clinical Trial NCT02269150.
Reference: Y Taur et al. Microbiota-remediation after antibiotic-induced loss of commensal bacteria. Science Translational Medicine. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aap9489 (2018).
NIAID conducts and supports research--at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide--to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.
Ken Pekoc | EurekAlert!
Scientists use nanoparticle-delivered gene therapy to inhibit blinding eye disease in rodents
08.07.2020 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Deconstructing glioblastoma complexity reveals its pattern of development
08.07.2020 | McGill University
Biochemists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have used a standard electron cryo-microscope to achieve surprisingly good images that are on par with those taken by far more sophisticated equipment. They have succeeded in determining the structure of ferritin almost at the atomic level. Their results were published in the journal "PLOS ONE".
Electron cryo-microscopy has become increasingly important in recent years, especially in shedding light on protein structures. The developers of the new...
New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices
Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...
Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class
In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...
Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.
Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....
Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.
Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...
07.07.2020 | Event News
02.07.2020 | Event News
19.05.2020 | Event News
13.07.2020 | Earth Sciences
13.07.2020 | Physics and Astronomy
13.07.2020 | Life Sciences