Poo transplant effective treatment for chronic bowel condition

January 15, 2019

Poo transplant or "Faecal microbiota transplantation" (FMT) can successfully treat patients with ulcerative colitis, new research from the University of Adelaide shows.

The randomised, double-blind study - published in the journal JAMA - was a collaboration between the University of Adelaide, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), CSIRO and CALHN (SA Health).

It involved 73 adults with mild to moderate active ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease which effects the lining of the large intestine and rectum causing symptoms including pain, bloody stools and an increased risk of colon cancer.

Patients received either pooled donor FMT that had been anaerobically processed or their own stool as placebo via colonoscopy followed by two enemas.

Researchers found a short duration of low intensity FMT using anaerobically (in an oxygen-free environment) prepared pooled donor FMT could induce remission in ulcerative colitis, with a 32% rate of remission compared to 9% with placebo. This is a similar treatment result to the best currently available therapies.

Many of the currently available therapies for ulcerative colitis improve the disease by suppressing the immune system which can lead to potential side effects like infection or malignancy.

"The most important difference in this trial compared to previous studies is the use of anaerobic (oxygen-free) stool processing," says study leader Dr Sam Costello, Gastroentrologist, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Lecturer, University of Adelaide's Medical School.

"Many gut bacteria die with exposure to oxygen and we know that with anaerobic stool processing a large number of donor bacteria survive so that they can be administered to the patient.

"We believe that this may be the reason that we had a good therapeutic effect with only a small number of treatments."

An agreement has already been reached with UK company Microbiotica to commercialise the development of a microbial therapeutic from the study.

"Our long-term aim is to develop rationally designed microbial therapies that can replace FMT,'' says Dr Costello.

"These will have bacteria in a pill that can carry out the therapeutic effect without the need to take whole faeces.

"This is obviously a better and less smelly option."

Further studies will investigate whether FMT can maintain remission in ulcerative colitis.
-end-


University of Adelaide

Related Immune System Articles from Brightsurf:

How the immune system remembers viruses
For a person to acquire immunity to a disease, T cells must develop into memory cells after contact with the pathogen.

How does the immune system develop in the first days of life?
Researchers highlight the anti-inflammatory response taking place after birth and designed to shield the newborn from infection.

Memory training for the immune system
The immune system will memorize the pathogen after an infection and can therefore react promptly after reinfection with the same pathogen.

Immune system may have another job -- combatting depression
An inflammatory autoimmune response within the central nervous system similar to one linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) has also been found in the spinal fluid of healthy people, according to a new Yale-led study comparing immune system cells in the spinal fluid of MS patients and healthy subjects.

COVID-19: Immune system derails
Contrary to what has been generally assumed so far, a severe course of COVID-19 does not solely result in a strong immune reaction - rather, the immune response is caught in a continuous loop of activation and inhibition.

Immune cell steroids help tumours suppress the immune system, offering new drug targets
Tumours found to evade the immune system by telling immune cells to produce immunosuppressive steroids.

Immune system -- Knocked off balance
Instead of protecting us, the immune system can sometimes go awry, as in the case of autoimmune diseases and allergies.

Too much salt weakens the immune system
A high-salt diet is not only bad for one's blood pressure, but also for the immune system.

Parkinson's and the immune system
Mutations in the Parkin gene are a common cause of hereditary forms of Parkinson's disease.

How an immune system regulator shifts the balance of immune cells
Researchers have provided new insight on the role of cyclic AMP (cAMP) in regulating the immune response.

Read More: Immune System News and Immune System Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.