Alteration of the intestinal microbiome: fecal microbiota transplant and probiotics for Clostridium difficile and beyond

Stephen M Vindigni, Elizabeth K Broussard, Christina M Surawicz
Expert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatology 2013, 7 (7): 615-28
Clostridium difficile infection is increasingly common with a high risk of recurrence despite antibiotic treatment. In cases of recurrent C. difficile infection, fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is a highly effective treatment option promoting the restoration of normal gut microbiota. Furthermore, preliminary uncontrolled evidence demonstrates possible benefit of FMT in the management of some cases of inflammatory bowel disease and chronic constipation. In addition to presenting an overview of FMT, we discuss the role of probiotics, a more common approach to modifying the intestinal microbiome. Probiotics have been utilized broadly for many disease processes, including gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and allergic disease settings, although with limited and inconsistent results. Multiple potential areas for research are also identified.

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