Fecal microbial transfer (Fecal transplantation) in children?

Fecal transplantation is performed as a treatment for recurrentC. difficile colitis. C. difficile colitis, a complication of antibiotic therapy, may be associated with diarrhea, abdominal cramping and sometimes fever. Antibiotics used for the treatment of this infection include metronidazole, vancomycin and fidaxomycin. In 30 percent of treated individuals, the infection returns within a few days or weeks after finishing the antibiotic course. However, in those individuals who continue to have recurrentC. difficile colitis, fecal transplantation is an option.

A recent study published in 2013 in theNew England Journal of Medicine showed that fecal transplantation is more effective than oral vancomycin in preventing further recurrences in individuals who have already had recurrentC. difficile colitis. As of 2013, fecal transplantation is currently not routinely performed for indications other than recurrent C. difficile colitis.

More research studies in children are still needed to determine if fecal transplantation should be performed for other clinical indications.

Fecal transplantation for other clinical indications should be considered experimental, and performed only as part of a research study where safety is closely monitored.


Stefan Bittmann, M.D., M.A.
Hindenburgring 4
48599 Gronau, Germany