Sterile faecal transfer for C. difficile infection

Although an effective therapy for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) can entail uncontrollable risks for infection, especially in patients who are immunocompromised. Now, in a preliminary study, Ott et al. have shown that sterile faecal filtrate transfer (FFT; containing bacterial debris, metabolites, proteins and DNA) rather than intact microorganisms is effective in treating patients with CDI. In the study, five donor stool samples were fully characterized according to FMT standards, sterile-filtered to remove bacteria and particles and then transferred to five patients with chronic-relapsing CDI. FFT restored normal stool habits and stopped CDI symptoms for a minimum of 6 months in all five patients, suggesting that bacterial components, metabolites or bacteriophages mediate the effects of FMT, and that FFT could be a promising alternative approach.


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    Ott, S. J. et al. Efficacy of sterile fecal filtrate transfer for treating patients with Clostridium difficile infection. Gastroenterology (2016)

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Dickson, I. Sterile faecal transfer for C. difficile infection. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 14, 4 (2017).

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