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U.S. Government Warns Against Fecal Transplants - Carlos Gamino
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

Thinking About a Fecal Transplant? Think Again.

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By Carlos Gamino

You’ve probably heard of fecal transplants – they were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013, and they’re currently being used as an alternative to antibiotics that treat C. diff, a gut infection that can debilitate sufferers.

But whether or not you’d actually sign up for the procedure (I don’t want to know), the U.S. government is now issuing warnings against possible complications after one person has died and another was sickened by E. coli following treatment.

“The agency is now aware of bacterial infections caused by multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) that have occurred due to transmission of a MDRO from use of investigational FMT,” the FDA said. Granted, both of the people – the one who passed away and the one who got sick – were immunocompromised. The fecal macrobiota for transplantation (FMT for short) used for both patients came from the same donor.

But FMT has been found to treat C. diff just as well as antibiotics do in many cases – and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 500,000 people come down with the infection each year.

FMT is a form of bacteriotherapy. It’s the transfer of stool from a healthy donor to the GI tract of one with C. diff – a form of colitis. These transplants help replenish bacterial balance when antibiotics kill off too many good bacteria in the digestive tract, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, and it works exactly how you think it does (its name is very literal).

What Do You Think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Okay, so maybe I wouldn’t love to hear them – but I do value your opinions, and this is a pretty interesting topic… so please join the conversation on  my Facebook page or on my Twitter feed to let us know what you think!

Carlos Gamino