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Reaction: Phase 1 trial tests fecal transplantation to reduce antibiotic-resistant bacteria in susceptible individuals

The risk of developing resistant bacteria is higher in some people, such as those who have to take long-term antibiotics after organ transplantation. To try to reduce them, a phase 1 clinical trial has performed a fecal transplant on 10 people who had previously received a kidney transplant and had resistant bacteria. The fecal transplants accelerated decolonization, shortened the time it took to test negative for multidrug-resistant organisms, and, according to the authors, may also "reduce the recurrence of infections." The results are published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

01/11/2023 - 19:00 CET
Expert reactions

Gabaldón - Trasplantes (EN)

Toni Gabaldón

ICREA research professor and head of the Comparative Genomics group at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS).

Science Media Centre Spain

I find it an interesting study that suggests that fecal transplantation could help reduce the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This is an important application, given the high risk of post-transplant infections and the difficulty of treating multi-resistant bacteria. 

The study, however, is very preliminary, with only a dozen patients. The groups compared receive fecal transplantation treatment at different times and are not compared with alternative pretreatments. It is important to remember that the aim of a phase 1 clinical trial is primarily to demonstrate safety and establish doses, not so much to demonstrate the efficacy of a treatment. Although the data point to high efficacy, we must wait for more advanced phases.

The author has not responded to our request to declare conflicts of interest
Fecal microbiota transplantation promotes reduction of Q1 antimicrobial resistance by strain replacement
  • Research article
  • Peer reviewed
  • Clinical trial
  • People
Science Translational Medicine
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Woodworth et al.

Study types:
  • Research article
  • Peer reviewed
  • Clinical trial
  • People
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