Join us on Tuesday, April 7th at 11:00 a.m. Pacific / 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time
As guests, Ms. Lee Jones, CEO Rebiotix, Inc. and Glenn Taylor, Microbiologist at Taymount Clinic discuss
Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) AKA Microbiota Restoration Therapy, Research to Clinical
Ms. Lee Jones, Founder, President and CEO of Rebiotix Inc, has over thirty years of experience in the medical technology industry in large and small companies and academia. Rebiotix is developing a new category of biologic drugs that use live human-derived organisms to treat disease. Lead candidate RBX2660 (microbiota suspension) is currently undergoing clinical study for recurrent C. diff. infection.
Mr. Glenn Taylor is the Microbiologist at the Taymount Clinic just outside London in the UK. He has spent five years researching the commensal colonization of bacteria in the human digestive system. Listen in as both guests discuss the Fecal or Faecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT),also known as Microbiota Restoration Therapy to treat recurrent C. diff. infections and more – Research to Clinical.
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Questions received through the show page portal will be reviewed and addressed by the show’s Medical Correspondent, Dr. Fred Zar, MD, FACP, Dr. Fred Zar is a Professor of Clinical Medicine, Vice Head for Education in the Department of Medicine, and Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Over the last two decades he has been a pioneer in the study of the treatment of Clostridium difficile disease and the need to stratify patients by disease severity.
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Fecal microbiota transplants (FMTs) are exactly what they sound like. They involve taking feces from a healthy person and putting them into the body of a sick patient to strengthen the community of bacteria that live in the patient’s gut.
FMTs are very effective at curing stubborn infections with Clostridium difficile (C. diff). The deadly bacteria cause 500,000 illnesses and 14,000 deaths each year in the United States. Small studies have shown that FMTs can cure about 90 percent of serious C. diff infections. They have been so successful that scientists are testing the transplants for other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
However, FMTs have their downsides. They’re invasive, they can spread disease, and — let’s face it — they’re gross.
What if patients could get the benefits of an FMT without the “ick factor”? A team led by researchers at the Mayo Clinic has developed a delayed-release pill, dubbed SER-109. Research suggests that it may be just as effective as a traditional transplant.
How Does the Pill Work?
In a trial of 15 patients with multiple flare-ups of C. diff infection, SER-109 cured all 15 within eight weeks. At the end of the trial, none of the patients had diarrhea, the hallmark of C. diff infection. All tested negative for the bacteria.
“The results of the study were not surprising and we were expecting a high cure rate,” lead study author Dr. Sahil Khanna of the Mayo Clinic told Healthline. “Previous studies involving conventional fecal transplant from the upper gut have demonstrated good success rates.”
Doctors think that giving patients large doses of antibiotics triggers C. diff infections. Antibiotics destroy the normal, helpful gut bacteria that help the body fight harmful microbes like C. diff. To cure the infection, doctors must reintroduce the good bacteria the patient has lost.
The pill required far fewer live bacteria than a traditional transplant. Even with fewer bacteria to re-seed the patients’ guts, the researchers confirmed that the pill quickly restored bacterial diversity.
Khanna, a gastroenterologist, said that the delayed-release capsules allowed the bacteria to survive the acidity and enzymes in the upper gastrointestinal tract and make it into the patient’s lower gut.
*To read article in its’ entirety click on the link above*
The process of delivering stool bacteria from a healthy donor to a patient suffering from intestinal infection with the bacterium Clostridium difficile works by restoring healthy bacteria and functioning to the recipient’s gut, according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
The study provides insight into the structural and potential metabolic changes that occur following fecal transplant, says senior author Vincent B. Young, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases and the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The transplants, which have been successful at curing more than 90 percent of recipients, have been used successfully since the 1950s, he says, though it hasn’t been clear how they work to recover gut function.
“The bottom line is fecal transplants work, and not by just supplying a missing bug but a missing function being carried out by multiple organisms in the transplanted feces,” Young says. “By restoring this function, C. difficile isn’t allowed to grow unchecked, and the whole ecosystem is able to recover.”
Young and colleagues used DNA sequencing to study the composition and structure of fecal microbiota (bacteria) in stool samples from 14 patients before and two to four weeks after fecal transplant. In 10 of the patients, researchers also compared stool samples before and after transplant to samples from their donors.
All transplant patients, treated at the Essentia Health Duluth Clinic in Minnesota, had a history of at least two recurrent C. difficile infections following an initial infection and failed antibiotic therapy.
Studying families of bacteria in the samples, investigators found marked differences among donor, pre-transplant and post-transplant samples. However, those from the donors and post-transplant patients were most similar to each other, indicating that the transplants at least partially returned a diverse community of healthy gut bacteria to the recipients. While not as robust as their donors, the bacterial communities in patients after transplant showed a reduced amount of Proteobacteria, which include a variety of infectious agents, and an increased amount of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes bacteria typically found in healthy individuals, compared to their pre-transplant status.
Then, using a predictive software tool, researchers analyzed the relationship between the community structure of the micoorganisms and their function, presumably involved in maintaining resistance against CDI.
They identified 75 metabolic/functional pathways prevalent in the samples. The samples taken from patients before transplant had decreased levels of several modules related to basic metabolism and production of chemicals like amino acids and carbohydrates, but were enriched in pathways associated with stress response, compared to donor samples or post-transplant samples.
CDI has significantly increased during the past decade, Young says, with previous studies estimating there are more than 500,000 cases of CDI in the United States annually, with health care costs ranging from $1.3 billion to $3.4 billion. Up to 40 percent of patients suffer from recurrence of disease following standard antibiotic treatment. In a healthy person, gut microorganisms limit infections but antibiotics are believed to disrupt the normal structure of these microoganisms, rendering the gut less able to prevent infection with C. difficile.
Further identification of the specific microorganisms and functions that promote resistance of bacterial colonization, or growth, may aid in the development of improved CDI treatments, Young says: “If we can understand the functions that are missing, we can identify supplemental bacteria or chemicals that could be given therapeutically to help restore proper gut function.”
For article in its entirety click on the link below:
The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Michigan Gastrointestinal Peptide Research Center, and the Essentia Health Foundation in Duluth, Minn.
mBio® is an open access online journal published by the American Society for Microbiology to make microbiology research broadly accessible. The focus of the journal is on rapid publication of cutting-edge research spanning the entire spectrum of microbiology and related fields. It can be found online at http://mbio.asm.org.
The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM’s mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.
Grad students at MIT have created and started the Nation’s first stool sample bank.
“Enter OpenBiome, which provides $250 samples to hospitals from screened patients, and has sent more than 135 such “preparations” to 13 hospitals since September; the samples are currently exclusively used for the treatment of C. diff. ”
We work with clinicians to make FMT easier, cheaper, safer and more widely available. We do so by providing hospitals with screened, filtered, and frozen material ready for clinical use. This service eliminates the time, staff, protocols, and facilities needed to screen and prepare material from new donors for each treatment. With OpenBiome, all that’s needed to deliver FMT is a doctor and an endoscope.
To read the “Nation’s first ‘poop bank’ article, please click on the following link: