Frozen Faecal Capsules to Treat C. Difficile Infection

BARCELONA, October 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

Oral capsules containing frozen faecal material have effectively treated C. difficile infection, a study has found. The capsules, which include faecal matter harvested from healthy people, were received well and effectively resolved symptoms of C. difficile in 90 percent of patients[1].

C. difficile infection is a type of bacterial infection that causes severe diarrhoea, intestinal inflammation and cell death. Standard therapy for the infection includes the use of antibiotics, but around one-third of individuals who use this treatment will have a recurrent infection and many will have multiple recurrences. The consequences of these recurrences can be severe, resulting in life-threatening illness and frequent hospitalisations.  

A recent systematic review of the literature concluded that the introduction of 'healthy' faecal material (FMT) was both effective and safe for the treatment of recurrent C. difficile infection[2], yet many hospitals have failed to embrace the technique or offer it as a potential treatment option.

The development of the new FMT capsule has raised hopes that this effective treatment for C. difficile and other bowel conditions might soon become mainstream. Professor Antonio Gasbarrini from the Gemelli University Hospital in Rome, Italy, believes this oral formulation is a major step forward. "FMT is an excellent treatment for C. difficile infection, but traditional methods are time-consuming and technically challenging," he explains. "Advances in the preparation and delivery of FMT will lead to its wider acceptance as a safe and effective treatment for C. difficile infection that could supersede antibiotics."

"We are excited by the prospect of capsule formulation and although larger studies are needed to confirm these findings, this research could certainly lead to more widespread use of FMT in the treatment of recurrent C. difficile infection," said Professor Gasbarrini.

Professor Gasbarrini is scheduled to present his findings alongside further exciting developments in the promising therapy area of FMT, at the 23rd United European Gastroenterology Week in Barcelona, Spain, later this month.


1) Youngster I, et al. JAMA 2014;312(17):1772-78
2) Cammarota G, et al. J Clin Gastroenterol 2014; 48(8):693-702.

United European Gastroenterology

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