Fecal Transplantation May Stabilize Microbiome in Premature Infants

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Thomas Thymann PhD DVM MSc Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Comparative Pediatrics and Nutrition Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences University of Copenhagen Frederiksberg, Denmark

Prof. Thymann

Thomas Thymann PhD DVM MSc
Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
Comparative Pediatrics and Nutrition
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen
Frederiksberg, Denmark

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Infants that are born preterm are at risk of developing a severe and life threatening intestinal disease referred to as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). This condition is known to be under influence of several factors including the microorganisms that start to colonize the intestine immediately after birth.

We wanted to see whether fecal matter collected from healthy 10-day old piglets, would benefit the pattern of early colonization, and prevent NEC.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: We show that fecal transplantation from a healthy 10-day old donor pig to newborn preterm pigs, provides substantial protection from NEC development. We also show that the route of application is important, as rectal administration of the fecal transplant was superior to oral administration. Recipients of the fecal transplant do not develop the same gut microbiome as the donor, but they do have a more diverse microbiome relative to the control group.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: The concept of fecal transplant is already used to some extent in both human and veterinary medicine. However, it has never been applied to preterm human infants. Before implementation into this very vulnerable patient group, we need to identify ways, using pre-clinical models, to ensure it is completely safe for the recipients. It will also be important to determine what characterizes the most optimal donor and how the fecal matter should be handled and stored before use.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Lead authors Brunse & Martin conducted this research in collaboration with a number of colleagues at University of Copenhagen and Freie Univ. Berlin. The project was part of the larger research platform ‘Neomune’ funded by the Innovation Foundation Denmark. The reader is referred to https://neomune.ku.dk/ for details. The publication can be found at this linkhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-018-0301-z

Citation:

Published: 26 October 2018

Effect of fecal microbiota transplantation route of administration on gut colonization and host response in preterm pigs

Anders Brunse, Lena Martin, Torben Sølbeck Rasmussen, Lars Christensen,
Malene Skovsted Cilieborg, Maria Wiese, Bekzod Khakimov, Robert Pieper, Dennis Sandris Nielsen, Per Torp Sangild & Thomas Thymann
The ISME Journal (2018)

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