C Diff Fecal Transplant Therapy – 7 Key Facts

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C diff fecal transplant therapy is sometimes known as Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT). Because some people suffer chronic c difficile doctors are using a new therapy to dislodge the disruptive c diff from their intestine. Fecal matter from a family member is often sought so that the material entering their system is reflective of local stomach flora. This is then turned into a liquid slurry and inserted into the body to colonise the intestine.

How do fecal matter transplants work?

For most people this introduces a new balance in the intestine and restores the bacteria depleted by antibiotic treatment. This bacteria would in normal circumstances combat the c diff anyway. It is by no means clear as yet exactly how the cure takes place in specific biological terms – but the general theory that recolonizing the colon with healthy bacteria will reverse the c difficile seems to be true. Some research indicates that the reintroduction of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes elements are part of the cure.

What is a Fecal Microbiota Transplant?

The c diff fecal transplant is inserted into the intestine in one of 4 ways. Via a duodenal tube, a rectal tube, a colonoscopy or possibly via special fecal tablets enclosed in a shell which dissolves in in the intestine . The colonoscopy is favoured as the whole of the colon can be recolonized and the extent of the infection can be clarified during the process. The cure may happen within hours or a few days.

Has the procedure been validated?

This is a not a new therapy, but it has been a rare one until the recent mushrooming of c difficile infections. It has been tested via clinical trials  and we link to information about those below. One of the major trials was extended to include those not receiving the therapy as it was felt to be unethical not to help them recover.

The FDA in the USA did seek to regulate the process and surround every procedure with extensive paperwork. They stepped back from this amidst a hail of protest from front-line doctors who were seeing sick people get well within days.



Does c diff fecal transplant therapy work?

Success rates of 97% have been noted and those for whom it does not work are often those seeking a fecal transplant for ulcerative colitis. Overall a cure rate of 89% in 275 cases from a round the world has been noted. Initial research also suggest that a small minority who have further c diff infections have been reinfected from another source.

Who can have a stool transplant?

This process is usually a last resort treatment. It will not be the first thing offered with your first c difficile infection. You will also need to find a facility willing to do c diff fecal transplants. Use a search engine to look for ‘fecal microbiota transplant xxxxxxxx. (Insert name of your state or city instead of xxxxxx.)

Who can be a fecal transplant donor?

You will need to find a suitable donor, with family members preferred. You should note that their fecal matter will need to be tested and that much of the cost of the process – usually between $1500-2000 – relates to that testing. This is to ensure that they do not pass you another unhelpful infection. You should also note that heavily medicated people or recent users of antibiotics will not be suitable donors. A ‘fecal donor bank’ is also creating a resource for hospitals so that can can obtain pre-screened fecal matter for use in the procedure.

Is there a Fecal Transplant Pill?

Work is under way to discover the essential elements of the fecal donation that heal the c diff infection. This would then be used to create pills or highly specific targeted drugs that attack some aspect of the infection process – that could then bypass the need for the intrusive procedure. It is also believed that this type of therapy could help several other conditions and research on those continues.

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia Taylor February 11, 2015 at 4:46 pm

I have cusody of my 2 years old grand-daughter and she has tested posivite three times for C.Difficile. She has been treated at Nemours in Jacksonville Florida. She has tried many compounds in which did nothing. She has stomach pains and cries for hours at a times along with pure yellow, watery bowel movements daily. The bowel movements even burn and she cries. I have been told of the transplant would she be a canidate? We live in Brunswick, Georgia and any one off us would be willing to be a donor. Please help me to help her as she is our life! I do need to tell you she does not talk, walk, stand, crawl, eat or drink. She has a G-J tube I feed her with. I have been to Emory in Atlanta, Georgis for genetic testing still waiting results. We have also been referred to The Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta but there id a 9-12 month wait to get in. I have been fighting since she was about 6 month old for help and to find out what all is going on with nothing as of yet. Any feed back will hep. Thank you

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admin February 12, 2015 at 9:32 am

She might be re the transplant and it might help with some of the other challenges. Check this link http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/clinical-updates/digestive-diseases/fecal-transplants-dramatically-improve-c-diff-in-kids

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Lisa Hurka Covington February 13, 2015 at 8:08 pm

In response to Patricia Taylor… I am offering additional information as a c diff survivor. Please see the C diff Foundation website http://www.cdifffoundation.org for more information per pediatric care. The below information is referenced on their site. Hope this will help your dear grandchild.

Dr. Sujal Rangwalla, a pediatric gastroenterologist providing FMT, experimental treatment
Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas

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RJ October 15, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Attn: Lisa Hurka Covington and everyone else..

I NEED help.. I have C-Diff and do NOT have a family member donor that will work. My husband is on too many medications.
I’m in the near Nashville, TN area.. I’m mid 50’s, female and am so sad I don’t have a donor. I know I would help anyone I could if the situation were reversed. I’ve been fighting this for over a year after I picked it up in a hospital stay and PLEASE I need a donor that lives near me. Vanderbilt hospital is where they will do it. They said I must find my own donor that lives near me.
PLEASE email me if you have any ideas of someone who can help or just to talk to me about this. I’m scared.

Thanks SO much. RJ

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Lisa Hurka Covington October 17, 2014 at 3:11 am

Dear RJ,
I am so sorry you are going through all you are with c diff, you will get stronger and better. I will keep you in prayers, they are powerful.

I am enclosing information for you to go to for help with your transplant. Go to http://www.cdifffoundation.org and then go in the search box and you can type in stool bank OR on the right side of the page in category Fecal transplants FMT scroll through the information about the stool back on MASS.

If you need me for anything further, I am always here for you.

With warm wishes,
Lisa

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