Through research, Dr. Christine Lee and her team are improving care and restoring quality of life for people with chronic gut disorders.
What is fecal microbiota transplant (FMT)?
Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) administers stool from a healthy donor to patients who have gastrointestinal disorders such as recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). In Canada, CDI is the most common infection acquired by patients while in hospital, and the leading cause of death due to infectious diarrhea.
FMT can be used to treat patients with recurrent CDI when antibiotics haven’t worked. However, it is not widely available in Canada, and more research is required to see whether it’s effective for other chronic gut disorders.
FMT can be administered through the nose (via nasogastric tube) or mouth (in pill form) or by enema or colonoscopy.
FMT and C. diff Research at Island Health
Dr. Christine Lee, her research team are working to improve FMT access in BC and across Canada, and to study FMT as a potential treatment option for chronic gut conditions such as diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and recurrent C. diff
The team is also conducting research to determine whether ridinilazole, (preserves healthy bacteria within gut) is superior to oral vancomycin for first and 2nd episodes of C. diff.
Dr. Lee’s FMT program began in 2008 when a 75-year-old man with recurrent CDI did not respond to any treatment. The only remaining option was surgery to remove his colon, but Dr. Lee consulted on his case, and she recommended FMT instead. Within 24 hours of treatment, his diarrhea stopped and he recovered completely.
We have offered more than 2000 FMTs to patients for clinical care or research; FMT has found it to be safe and effective. Watch the video below to learn about another patient’s journey from fear to hope through FMT.
If you would like to learn more about the C. diff study or FMT, please email FMTaccess@islandhealth.ca.