Fecal microbiota transplantation: donor relation, fresh or frozen, delivery methods, cost-effectiveness

Authors Daryl Ramai, Karl Zakhia, Andrew Ofosu, Emmanuel Ofori, Madhavi Reddy.


Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has evolved into a robust and efficient means for treating recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Our narrative review looks at the donor selection, preparation, delivery techniques and cost-effectiveness of FMT. We searched electronic databases, including PubMed, MEDLINE, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Databases, for studies that compared the biological effects of donor selection, fresh or frozen fecal preparation, and various delivery techniques. We also evaluated the cost-effectiveness and manually searched references to identify additional relevant studies. Overall, there is a paucity of studies that directly compare outcomes associated with related and non-related stool donors. However, inferences from prior studies indicate that the success of FMT does not depend on the donor-patient relationship. Over time, the use of unrelated donors has increased because of the formation of stool banks and the need to save processing time and capital. However, longitudinal studies are needed to clarify the optimal freezing time before microbial function declines. Several FMT techniques have been developed, such as colonoscopy, enema, nasogastric or nasojejunal tubes, and capsules. The comparable and high efficacy of FMT capsules, combined with their convenience, safety and aesthetically tolerable mode of delivery, makes it an attractive option for many patients. Costeffective models comparing these various approaches support the use of FMT via colonoscopy as being the best strategy for the treatment of recurrent CDI.

Keywords Clostridium difficile, fecal microbiota transplantation, donor selection, capsule, colonoscopy, enema

Ann Gastroenterol 2019; 32 (1): 30-38

Review Articles