HealthDay News — Fecal transplantation appears to be a safe and effective way to combat Clostridium difficile infection, according to findings published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The risk for a first reoccurrence is 10% to 20%, but the rate increases to 40% to 60% after one recurrence, according to an accompanying editorial written by Christina M. Surawicz, MD, of the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington.

“Since 2000, many published case reports and case-series studies of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) have reported success rates of 83% to 90%, wrote Surawicz.

To assess the efficacy, comparative effectiveness, and harms of FTM for Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection, Dimitri Drekonja, MD, MS, of University of Minnesota School of Medicine in Minneapolis, and colleagues reviewed findings from two randomized, controlled trials as well as 33 uncontrolled case reports involving 516 C. difficile fecal transplant patients.

In recurrent infections caused by C. difficile, the intervention is successful 85% of the time. Fecal transplants also helped 55% of patients for whom standard drug treatments didn’t work, added the investigators.

Fecal transplantation appeared to be effective while prompting few short-term side effects. But the investigators cautioned that the available data is “low-strength.” They also said there isn’t enough evidence for drafting guidelines regarding how to determine ideal donor candidates, how to identify ideal fecal-preparation methods, or how best to deliver the sourced stool to patients.


  1. Drekonja D et al. Ann Intern Med. 2015; doi: 10.7326/M14-2693
  2. Surawicz  CM. Ann Intern Med. 2015; doi: 10.7326/M15-0609