Fecal microbiota transplant: A new way to deal with bowel movements

Bowel problems are one of the common cases seen among the people. For overcoming this issue, the fecal microbiota transplant is best option been suggested by many of the doctors across the globe. “How nauseating?” is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about using feces as a solution. But it is actually true a fecal product from a healthy individual with no history of contagious diseases or medication is taken to be transferred into another person with unhealthy gut mucosa.

Fecal transplant procedure is being carried out since a decade but it is mostly preferred to be followed in animals. Before becoming a part of the transplantation procedure, the donor must meet the strict Amsterdam protocol. Earlier a patient had to take the effort of selecting the donor, but currently a list of donors or a donor pool with a healthy fecal background has been prepared which makes the whole process even easier. The donors have to get themselves tested for HIV, Hepititis B virus, and Hepititis C virus. They must be free of bowel diseases, antibiotic therapy or avoid travelling to the endemic diarrhea prone areas.

During the procedure, the fecal transplant is introduced into the bowel via number of routes such as colonoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy, nasojejunal tube or nasogastric tube, nasoduodenal intubation, or enema. The nasal route for transferring the fecal transplant is avoided as the potential target achievement is hampered. The accuracy of the procedure is obtained only when the transplant is introduced via the lower bowel rather than the upper small intestine.

Out of all the procedure the colonoscopy or retention enema route is used. Before this procedure, liquid diet has to be followed or a laxative or enema is given to cleanse the system of the abnormal microbes. The loperamide tablets or other bowel motility inhibitors are given to the patient 1 Hour prior to the procedure along with a sedative. Endoscopy in the colon helps check the fecal transplant position when injected. The next day a laxative is given to evacuate the bowel and collect the fecal sample. For keeping the sample safe, it is mixed with saline, yogurt, milk, water in order to preserve the aerobic and anaerobic microbes. The sample is filtered through disposable filter coffee and lastly the sample is then tested in hospital. This is the best method as it is safe, economical, and 95% efficient.

Recently, the fecal swallowable capsule has been introduced to carry out the fecal transplant.


Vaibhav Bhosale undertook the post of Content Writer at Medical Device News in November 2016, following a 1.2-year of experience as an Project Lead; Instructional Writer at eNyota Learning Pvt. Ltd. His immense interest in reading brought him in this field. He can be reached at vaibhav@medicaldevicenews.net