Fecal Microbiota Transplant Cures C. difficile Infection and Eliminates Multi-Drug-Resistant Organisms in Elderly Patient

A fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) not only cured a case of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) (image) infection in a 66-year-old man, it also eliminated populations of multi-drug-resistant organisms both in the patient's gastrointestinal tract, and several other body sites. This case report was published online on April 15, 2015 in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. The patient suffered from quadriplegia and multiple other conditions, requiring a ventilator, a feeding tube, and chronic foley catheterization. As a result of his complex medical needs, he was admitted to the intensive care unit at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California. Within the first week, he was diagnosed with C. diff colitis, and treated with oral antibiotics. However, whenever the antibiotics were tapered, the C. diff rapidly relapsed. Concurrently, a number of multi-drug resistant organisms were isolated from the patient, which led to repeated infections. Ultimately, the doctors suggested fecal microbiota transplant, and the patient's sister volunteered to be the donor, and passed the screening tests for infectious diseases and parasites. The doctors injected the material using a colonoscope, after discontinuation of antibiotics. During the next two years and until the patient died, the C. diff never returned. Although methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) did recolonize his urinary tract several months after the fecal transplant, the many other antibiotic-resistant microbes did not, despite his ongoing stay in the intensive care unit.
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