Published online Aug 15, 2015. doi: 10.4291/wjgp.v6.i3.79
Peer-review started: February 4, 2015
First decision: March 20, 2015
Revised: April 17, 2015
Accepted: April 28, 2015
Article in press: April 30, 2015
Published online: August 15, 2015
The human gut contains trillions of bacteria, the major phylae of which include Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria. Fecal microbial transplantation (FMT) has been known of for many years but only recently has been subjected to rigorous examination. We review the evidence regarding FMT for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection which has resulted in it being an approved treatment. In addition there is some evidence for its use in both irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Further research is needed in order to define the indications for FMT and the most appropriate method of administration.
Core tip: Fecal microbial transplantation is approved for the treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection by either nasojejunal administration or colonoscopy. In addition there is some evidence for its use in both irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. There are, however, reports of side effects including weight gain, diverticulitis and development of autoimmune disease. Treatment for non-approved conditions should be performed in the framework of clinical research trials in order to better define the indications.