Competitively Selected Donor Fecal Microbiota Transplantation: Butyrate Concentration and Diversity as Measures of Donor Quality

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In this prospective cohort study, we examine the feasibility of a protocol to optimize microbiota for fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). Donor stool metrics generally accepted as markers of gut health were used to select a stool donor based on superior microbial diversity, balanced constitution of Bacteroidetes versus Firmicutes and high concentration of fecal butyrate. Selected donor microbiota was then administered via FMT. A total of 10 patients with median age of 12 years with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection received the intervention. The rate of recurrence-free resolution with 1-2 FMTs was 100% at Week 10. With a single FMT, 80% of patients cleared Clostridium difficile infection without recurrence, whereas 20% of patients required a single re-treatment. No serious adverse events occurred. Microbiota sequencing revealed that recipients’ gut microbiota phylogenic diversity increased by 72-hours post-transplantation, with sustainment over 10-week follow-up. This study highlights the feasibility of purposefully selecting the most ideal microbiota for transplantation.

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