Findings from a double-blind trial have confirmed the effectiveness of frozen faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The trial assessed the efficacy of FMT from a single donor with a favourable microbiota profile in 164 patients with moderate-to-severe IBS symptoms. These patients were randomised to either placebo, 30 g transplant or 60 g transplant. The transplant material had been stored frozen (−80°C) and was administered after thawing into the proximal duodenum via gastroscope.
A response to FMT treatment was observed in 23.6 per cent of individuals who received placebo, 76.9 per cent of individuals who received a 30 g transplant and 89.1 per cent of individuals who received a 60 g transplant.
The authors reported that clinically significant symptom improvement (a ≥175-point reduction in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Severity Scoring System) occurred in 5.5 per cent, 35.2 per cent and 47.3 per cent of individuals in the placebo, FMT 30 g and FMT 60 g treatment groups, respectively.
Significant improvements in fatigue and quality of life were also observed in the FMT treatment groups compared with the placebo group, while an analysis of faecal bacterial profiles showed changes in the abundance of different bacteria in the two FMT groups but not in the control group.