Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to a collection of conditions that cause persistent inflammation in the digestive system. Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the two primary inflammatory bowel diseases. Although the exact cause of IBD is unknown, its etiology is complex. Digestive or gut microbiota appears to play a role in IBD following research. A change in the equilibrium of a commensal relationship reduces gut microbial diversity and can also introduce harmful bacteria into the digestive microbial community. The term dysbiosis describes the clinical characteristics of people with IBD.
Even though it is still in its early phases, the application of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) as a therapeutic technique for modifying gut microbiota is growing more promising. Fecal microbiota transplantation involves transferring the fecal suspension from a donor into the recipient’s gastrointestinal tract and changing the structure and function of the gut microbiota.
Researchers conducted a cohort study to determine the level and principles of microbial engraftment in IBD patients treated with fecal microbiota transplantation.
Transplantation and shotgun metagenomics
Researchers acquired 34 samples for the allogenic fecal microbiota transplantation group, 25 for the autologous group, and 10 for the healthy group for the study. The feces samples were obtained from pre-screened donors and then isolated in a laboratory for microbiota analysis. Fecal microbiota from the donors was purified. The researchers injected the purified fresh fecal microbiota suspension into the mid-guts of the IBD patients. The gut entry was possible using a tube within a gastroscope while they were anesthetized. In less than an hour, the entire treatment was complete.
The researchers used shotgun metagenomics to profile the sequenced fecal samples. After profiling, they evaluated the alpha diversity of gut microbiota in IBD patients. The researchers discovered that patients with Crohn’s disease had a lower average of gut microbiota alpha diversity than healthy controls. There was also less alpha diversity in patients with UC than in the healthy control group, but dysbiosis was not substantial.
Following fecal microbiota transplantation, the study found that individuals with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis had less bacterial diversity. Three days following fecal microbiota transplantation, there was also an increase in the bacterial strain of a particular number of species.
The fact that same-donor receivers have different levels of gut microbiota shift is a highly relevant clinical finding in this study. This finding suggests that the therapeutic approach for fecal microbiota transplantation may be patient-specific and raises the possibility of patient stratification in practical practice.
The successful use of fecal microbiota transplantation to treat other diseases has sparked interest in using it to treat patients with inflammatory bowel disorders. The application of FMT, however, is still in its early phases with much potential for growth.