Doctors Unveiled the Mystery Behind a Death of Patient After Fecal Transplant

Doctors Unveiled the Mystery Behind a Death of Patient After Fecal Transplant

Health

Before few months in June, the US FDA had announced two adverse outcomes of fecal microbiota transplant (FMT). At the time, one person had died due to contraction to E. coli, and another fell ill. The happening had spurred the agency to set new safety guidelines for the methodology. But the notification had very precise information on the two cases, which had left doctors calling for comprehensive details. Now some researchers have tried to bring transparency to the latest technology. They have detailed the two cases involved in the trial of FMT.

A finding, published in the New England Journal of Medicine has attempted to answer some of the questions related to the trial. A team of doctors from the Massachusetts General Hospital has analyzed the case history of two patients who had involved in two different clinical trials. Study’s co-author Dr. Elizabeth Hohmann said they wanted to set the record straight. Originally, FMTs offer benefits to patients with fatal diarrhea caused by infections with Clostridium difficile. It is a nasty bacterium that can overwhelm the gut if a person consumes too many antibiotics. By implanting microorganisms from a donor’s stool, the procedure can revive healthy bacteria to the gut.

Currently, researchers are exploring the FMT in a wide range of clinical trials as a feasible therapy to treat various health conditions. The list of diseases, that can be treated via FMT, includes liver diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and multiple sclerosis. Although FMTs are massively considered harm-less, experts say one problem with the existing regulation is that there is standard protocol to gather, test, process, store, and administer the stool samples. It is because no one has decided on the best practices for the FMTs. On the other hand, following the patient’s death, the FDA has announced guidelines demanding that both, donors and their stool, can be tested for the existence of various drug-resistant organisms. Dr. Elizabeth said sometimes, there may exist some organisms that are not being tested. She also noted that they can increase the ways to seek for various organisms, but they cannot eliminate them 100%.