Fecal microbiota transplants (FMTs) are most commonly used for treating Clostridium difficile infection, an often lethal bacterial infection of the gut. However, there have been many hypotheses that FMTs could be used to treat other conditions that result in a dysbiosis of the microbiota. A new study published in BMC Infectious Diseases suggests that FMTs could be used to treat enterocolitis, infection of the gut, that is a result of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The most common treatment for this to date has been antibiotic treatment, specifically vanomycin, but the results of how this impacted the microbiota were not measured. In this new study, 5 patients with enterocolitis as a result of MRSA were given FMTs, the infusion of fecal preparation into the GI tract of the patient from a healthy donor. After administration of the FMT, all 5 patients were cured of the MRSA enterocolitis showing no symptoms. MRSA in the feces was also eliminated after FMT.
They also measured the microbiome of patients undergoing the treatment. They found that prior to treatment, patients with MRSA enterocolitis had decreased numbers of species in the gut and S. aureus reached almost half of all intestinal flora. After the FMT, the microbiome of the recipient trended closer to the microbiome of the donor and alleviated symptoms.
While there remain concerns with the use of FMTs, there are certain instances where there are few options for treatment and the administration of a new microbiome from a donor fecal sample remain the most promising. While this was only a study of 5 patients at one hospital in Singapore, the investigators suggest FMT as a first-line measure treatment for enterocolitis resulting from MRSA.