Frozen, Freeze-dried Products for Fecal Microbiota Transplantation as Effective as Fresh?

MARCH 14, 2017

Frozen and freeze-drive fecal microbiota treatment (FMT) may be a more convenient option for patients who are struggling with Clostridium difficile infection, according to data published recently in most Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

For the study, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Kelsey Research Foundation investigators enrolled 72 patients who had at least 3 bouts of recurrent Clostridium difficile in a clinical trial and treated them with either fresh, frozen or freeze-dried FMT product via colonoscopy. Fresh FMT product produced a 100% cure rate among participants; frozen product produced an 83% cure rate and freeze-dried product produced a 69% cure rate.  

Frozen and fresh product fully restored the microbiota diversity among participants within 7 days after treatment. Researchers saw some improvement in microbiota diversity among participants treated with freeze-dried product after 7 days and full restoration of healthy bacteria within 30 days.

“This is the first study to show that frozen and freeze-dried microbiota are as good as fresh material, so that we never have to use fresh again. It’s a logistical nightmare to use fresh product. If we were going to treat you today, a donor would have come in two hours before, we would have already isolated the sample and then we would have to administer it the same day. A pill form of the product could make all of this easier,” Herbert L. DuPont, MD, senior author and director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at UTHealth School of Public Health said in a press release about the study findings.

Reference:

Jiang ZD, Ajami NJ, Petrosino JF, et al. Randomised clinical trial: faecal microbiota transplantation for recurrent Clostridum difficile infection - fresh, or frozen, or lyophilised microbiota from a small pool of healthy donors delivered by colonoscopy. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2017;45 (7): 899.

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