A Narrative Review of the Current Evidence of Fecal Microbiota Transplant as Curative Therapy for Recurrent Clostridioides difficile Infection

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Authors: Divya Lakshmi Yerramsetty, Dipendra R. Pandeya, Ph.D.
Medical University of the Americas, Devens, MA, USA

Hypothesis: Compared to the flawed antimicrobial interventions, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is more efficacious and safer in offering a significant clinical resolution of recurrent Clostridioides difficile (rCDI) – the world’s leading hospital-acquired infection.

Methods: An electronic search using Medscape, PubMed, and Google Scholar databases, limited only to articles published in academic journals with full-text access within the past ten years (2010-2020). Selection criteria consisted of quality research studies with relevant findings from patient follow-up post-FMT, considering both primary and secondary endpoints of the investigations. An evidence table was created to organize and evaluate the notable features of each source.

Results: Three RCTs, two retrospective cohort studies, and two systematic reviews and meta-analyses have established that FMT is an effective alternative to standard care in treating rCDI. Multiple infusions of FMT as a monotherapy and rescue treatment demonstrated near-complete clinical resolution in patients with rCDI. Further management of rCDI with the recommended first-line agents (e.g., vancomycin and fidaxomicin) proved counterproductive to FMT in comparative studies.

Conclusions: With its unappealing aesthetics and under-researched long-term implications, there is increased reluctance to FMT’s regular use. Before declaring the novel procedure as the best form of medical practice, future studies should have a stronger emphasis on vancomycin and fidaxomicin to allow for the effective comparison of FMT to non-FMT treatments. Despite the existing limitations, including insufficient sample sizes, FMT has still shown overwhelming promise as a curative treatment for rCDI.

Keywords: Dysbiosis, gut microbiome, FMT, human feces, rCDI, treatment