From the Journals

Real-world safety, efficacy found for fecal transplants


Findings may not apply to all clinical settings

Vincent B. Young, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, pointed out that the findings might not apply to all clinical settings. The participating clinicians were almost all gastroenterologists working in academic centers.

“Most of them are not Joe Doctor at the doctor’s office,” said Dr. Young, who was not involved with the study. Clinicians in other specialties, such as infectious diseases, might be more inclined to administer fecal transplants through capsules rather than colonoscopies.

And he added that the study does not address effects of the transplant that might develop over years. “Some people talk about how changes in the microbiota lead to increased risk for long-term complications, things like cancer or heart disease. You’re not going to see those in 6 months.”

Also, the study didn’t yield any findings on indications other than C. diff. “In no way, shape, or form does it mean you can use it for autism, depression, heart disease, or [irritable bowel syndrome],” he said.

Still, he said, the study “confirms the fact that fecal cell transplantation is an effective treatment for recurrent C. diff infection when administered as they administered it.”

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funded the registry. Dr. Kelly reported a relationship with Finch Therapeutics. Dr. Young reports financial relationships with Vedanta Biosciences and Bio-K+.

This story was updated on Oct. 4, 2020.

A version of this article originally appeared on


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