FMT study highlights significance of microbial diversity

An Australian study that found FMT was an effective treatment for patients with ulcerative colitis has revealed that microbial diversity may be significant in predicting response to treatment.

The double-blind three-centre study involving 81 patients with active UC resistant to standard treatments found that the presence of Fusobacterium and Sutterella were associated with a lack of remission.

Presenting the findings at the AGW Young Investigator Awards session NSW University researcher and gastroenterologist Dr Sudarshan Paramsothy told delegates that the microbial findings might be important in both understanding the pathophysiology of the microbiota in UC and shaping future bacterial therapy.

As reported previously on the limbic Dr Paramsothy  presented the findings at Digestive Disease Week 2016 in California earlier this year.

Related story: FMT shows promise in treating ulcerative colitis

The study found 11 of the 41 patients (27%) treated with FMT not only had their symptoms cleared, but their colons healed as well.

Healing and improvement in the condition of the digestive tract was evidenced via endoscopic examination.

The researchers also noted these results were achieved without the use of steroids.By comparison, only three of the 40 patients (8%) in the control group reached this goal.

Dr Paramsothy told the limbic the study was the first multi-centred trial that used an intense therapy of FMT infusions (40 over eight weeks), and has been able to show definitively that FMT transplantation is an effective treatment for UC.

Thirty-seven patients initially randomised to placebo progressed to open label FMT, of whom 10 (27%) met the primary endpoint, 17 (46%) experienced clinical remission and 9 (24%) experienced endoscopic remission, consistent with the blinded FMT outcomes.

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