The combination of vancomycin and fecal microbiota transplantation was found to be superior to fidaxomicin or vancomycin in the treatment of patients with recurrent Clostridioides (formerly Clostridium) difficile infection (CDI), according to a study published in Gastroenterology.

This randomized, single-center trial was designed to compare the efficacy of fecal microbiota transplantation with that of fidaxomicin and vancomycin. Sixty-four adults with recurrent CDI seen at a gastroenterology clinic in Denmark between April 5, 2016 and June 10, 2018 were randomly assigned to a group receiving fecal microbiota transplantation applied by colonoscopy or nasojejunal tube after 4 to 10 days of 125 mg vancomycin 4 times daily (n=24), or 10 days of 200 mg fidaxomicin 2 times daily (n=24), or 10 days of 125 mg vancomycin 4 times daily (n=16).

Patients experiencing a CDI recurrence after this course of treatment, and those who could not be randomly assigned were provided rescue fecal microbiota transplantation. The primary study outcome was combined clinical resolution and negative polymerase chain reaction test for C difficile toxin at 8 weeks post-treatment, and secondary end points included week 8 clinical resolution.

The combination of negative C difficile test results and clinical resolution was observed in 71% of the 24 participants who received fecal microbiota transplantation (95% CI, 49-87%; n=17), 33% of the 24 participants who received fidaxomicin (95% CI, 16-55%; n=8), and 19% of the 16 participants (95% CI, 5-46%; n=3) who received vancomycin (fecal microbiota transplantation vs fidaxomicin, P=.009; fecal microbiota transplantation vs vancomycin, P=.001; fidaxomicin vs vancomycin, P=.31). Clinical resolution was observed in 92% of participants who received fecal microbiota transplantation (n=22; P=.0002), 42% of participants who were treated with fidaxomicin (n=10; P <.0001), and 19% of participants who were treated with vancomycin (n=3; P=.13). No significant differences in results were seen between patients receiving initial fecal microbiota transplantation therapy and those who received rescue treatment with such a transplant.

Of note, adverse events (transient abdominal pain, constipation, bloating and diarrhea) were observed in 10 of the participants who received a fecal microbiota transplant, 1 of which was classified as severe.

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Researchers noted limitation of a lack of patients with C difficile ribotype 027, such that results may not be generalizable to settings with a high ribotype 027 frequency. Study interventions were also unblinded, introducing the possibility of observer bias, although the C difficile toxin test was applied to all patients at all time points in an effort to obtain objective outcome measures.

Study investigators concluded, “[fecal microbiota transplantation] was superior to both fidaxomicin and vancomycin monotherapies for [recurrent] CDI, with regard to both combined clinical and microbiological resolution and clinical resolution alone.”

Reference

Hvas CL, Jørgensen SMD, Jørgensen SP, et al. Fecal microbiota transplantation is superior to fidaxomicin for treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection [published online January 2, 2019]. Gastroenterology. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2018.12.019