Fecal transplants- involving the transfer of healthy fecal matter to a patient having compromised microbiome from a fit person via pills or an infusion- have proved to be lifesaving and have become a new medical treatment.
However, the FDA officials on Thursday made an announcement about a patient dying after undergoing such a treatment, thus highlighting the possibility of serious infections related to fecal transplants.
The FDA informed that 2 patients who underwent such a procedure as clinical trial suffered from fatal infections due to drug-resistant bacteria being delivered via the transplants. Of the two patients, one has already died.
The federal agency said that it is now halting the clinical trials of fecal transplant till the time the researchers prove that they have appropriate measures to verify whether the fecal microbiota isn’t contaminated with deadly bacteria.
Notably, fecal transplant is still in the experimental phase and is has still not been approved by the FDA. It is mainly used to treat the various kinds of severe antibiotic-resistant infections of the C. difficile bacterium.
It involves taking healthy stool of a donor and transferring it into the colon of the ill patient. The main goal is to reduce the patient’s unhealthy microbiome, which are basically the various bacteria which reside in the gut, by placing a disease-fighting, robust microbiome of the donor.