Donor Screening Experience for Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Patients With Recurrent C. difficile Infection

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Abstract

Goals:

To evaluate our experience with stool donor recruitment, screening, retention, and donor perception for fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT).

Background:

Multiply recurrent Clostridium difficile infection is being increasingly managed with FMT from donor stools. However, donor selection and recruitment is challenging due to lack of standard evidence-based guidelines, donor exclusion criteria, frequency of screening and donor commitment.

Methods:

Data on donors screened using institutional guidelines with history, blood and stool testing and their perspectives on donation were analyzed.

Results:

Overall 42 potential donors (21 known and 21 standard) were prescreened. Of known donors (median age 34 y, 66.6% female), none failed prescreening, blood or stool tests. Twelve standard donors (57%) failed prescreening based on history (depression, diarrhea, autoimmune disease, recent antibiotic exposure, colon polyps, pregnancy). Nine (median age 35 y, 44.4% female) passed blood and stool testing. On repeat screening, 3 were excluded (2-positive stool shiga toxin (asymptomatic), 1-pregnancy). One donor opted out and 5 became long-term donors; 3 have donated >50 times and 2 have donated >25 times. On the basis of donor perception questionnaire, most standard donors were aware of FMT for C. difficile infection as a treatment option and would not consider 3-monthly blood and stool testing inconvenient.

Conclusions:

A significant proportion of healthy individuals who volunteered to become a standard donor failed prescreening and were not subjected to blood and stool testing. Repeat testing for asymptomatic donors may be a barrier to donor retention. Universal guidelines are needed to develop strategies to facilitate donor screening.

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