Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Shown To Be a Promising Therapeutic Strategy for Ulcerative Colitis

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Shown To Be a Promising Therapeutic Strategy for Ulcerative Colitis
A study recently published in the Journal of Translational Medicine showed that fecal microbiota transplantation may represent a promising therapeutic approach for patients with ulcerative colitis. The study is entitled “Step-up fecal microbiota transplantation strategy: a pilot study for steroid-dependent ulcerative colitis” and was conducted by researchers from several institutes in China. Ulcerative colitis is a type of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by inflammation in the colon, formation of ulcers (tiny open sores), abdominal discomfort and diarrhea with blood. The condition is thought to be the result of an abnormal response by the body's immune system, and the intestinal microbiota is also believed to play a role on disease development. Current treatment strategies for ulcerative colitis are based on the promotion of disease remission, with corticosteroids being the most effective treatment option for patients suffering with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. Unfortunately, steroids are known to cause undesirable side effects, like bone loss, hyperglycemia and infections. Therefore, new steroid-free therapies are needed for ulcerative colitis patients. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a concept developed in China and based on the infusion of healthy donor microbiota into the intestines of the patient in order to restore his/her intestinal microbiota. Studies have suggested that a single FMT can have some therapeutic effect in IBD patients, including ulcerative colitis patients.
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