Restoring community structure

Restoring community structure and function to treat disease

Evidence supporting this therapeutic strategy originates from a medical procedure called faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). FMT involves transferring the microbiome from a healthy donor into a recipient with the intention of treating a disease is has historically been described as ‘Faecal Microbiota Transplantation’ or ‘FMT’. 

Over the past decade, FMT has been refined and developed by pioneering clinicians and is widely accepted as an effective strategy to prevent recurrent infections caused by a bacterium called C.difficile (CDI), with a large body of evidence showing that it is >90% effective in patients suffering from a recurrent form of the infection. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland endorsing the use of Faecal microbiota transplant for recurrent clostridium difficile infection unresponsive to standard therapies, in March 2014.

The rationale underpinning the efficacy of this therapeutic modality is that by administering the microbiome from a healthy volunteer into at the intestinal tract of a patient suffering from CDI, the healthy microbiome from the donor the perturbed microbiome in the patient, thereby causing the disease. FMT has shown promise in several diseases beyond C.difficile associated with disruptions to structure and function, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and neurodegenerative diseases.