Fecal Transplants Proven Effective In Eliminating Drug-Resistant Gut Bacteria

A recent study conducted by the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and the Netherlands Donor Feces Bank (NDFB) has found that fecal transplants from healthy donors can effectively rid chronically ill patients of resistant gut bacteria. This is particularly significant as resistant bacteria do not respond to antibiotics, making infections difficult to treat. The study involved patients providing stool samples for bacterial research up to three years after the fecal transplant, and the results showed that antibiotic resistance was still suppressed. The researchers concluded that fecal transplantation could be a long-term solution for patients with resistant gut bacteria.

Liz Terveer, a medical microbiologist at the LUMC and head of the NDFB, explained that the fecal transplants suppressed or eliminated the abundance of resistant bacteria in the patients, providing lasting protection. The study involved culturing the patients’ feces and mapping their personal bacterial community. This allowed the researchers to administer filtered stools from healthy donors to the patients through a tube. After three weeks, the patients had significantly reduced levels of resistant bacteria.

Terveer is continuing her research and exploring the potential of fecal transplantation for other types of patients. The team has started a study with the Netherlands Cancer Institute to investigate whether the treatment can enhance the effectiveness of immunotherapy in patients with metastatic melanomas. The long-term research also means that the LUMC is in need of healthy donors. Those who are between the ages of 18 and 60 and live or work in the Randstad area can sign up at the NDFB’s website.

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