Long-term durability and safety of fecal microbiota transplantation for recurrent or refractory Clostridioides difficile infection with or without antibiotic exposure
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Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is a safe and effective treatment for recurrent or refractory Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile infection (RCDI) in the short term. However, there are a paucity of data on long-term durability and safety of FMT. The aim of this study is to determine the long-term efficacy and safety of FMT for RCDI. Ninety-four patients underwent FMT via retention enema for RCDI between 2008 and 2012 and completed a follow-up questionnaire 4 to 8 years following the last FMT. Of these, 32 were unreachable and 37 were deceased; 23 of the remaining 25 participants completed the survey. No CDI recurrences were reported in patients treated with FMT; 12 of the 23 participants (52.2%) received at least one course of non-CDI antibiotic(s). Nine participants (40.9%) received probiotics and 4 (17.4%) received both non-CDI antibiotics and probiotics. All 23 participants rated their overall health compared with pre-FMT. Current health was considered "much better" in 17 patients (73.9%); "somewhat better" in 3 patients (13.0%); and "about the same" in 3 patients (13.0%). A total of 11 participants (47.8%) reported an increase in weight of more than 5 kg (kg) post-FMT and 9 participants (39.1%) reported no change in weight (± 5 kg). Four of the 23 participants (17.4%) reported improvement or resolution (undifferentiated colitis, n = 1; Crohn's disease, n = 2; ulcerative colitis, n = 1) of pre-existing gastrointestinal condition following FMT. Eight of 23 participants (34.8%) experienced new medical condition(s) post-FMT. The long-term efficacy (48-96 months) of FMT for RCDI appears to be durable even after non-CDI antibiotic use. Thirty percent had improvement of their pre-existing medical conditions following FMT; 73.9% reported "much better" overall health following FMT.
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