NICE have confirmed that Clostridium difficile infections, the result of antibiotic use in hospitals, are more effectively treated by Fecal Microbiome Transplants than more antibiotics.
Clostridium difficile is a severe illness that can even result in death. Some 14,000 people in American Hospitals develop C. difficile infection after having antibiotics, sometimes for the most minor of surgeries.
Symptoms may involve severe and long-lasting diarrhoea and damage to the gut wall.
In 2012 Dr. Coleen Kelley a doctor at Rhode Island Hospital cured people of C. diff, by using a stool sample from healthy patients. The ‘transplant’ was found to be significantly better performing than either antibiotic treatment or antibiotics plus an Fecal Microbiome Transplant (FMT) in her research.
Although FMTs are technically only licensed for the treatment of C. difficile, they are frequently used for other conditions.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence analysed six studies involving more than 7,300 patients. The results confirmed that FMTs were significantly better at curing C difficile than the two current antibiotic treatments used – fidaxomicin and vancomycin.
The FMTs can also help heal the gut wall and lining, whereas the antibiotics risk damaging it further.