WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital gastroenterologist performs hospital’s first fecal microbiota transplant

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital gastroenterologist Asad Pervez, M.D. performed the Hospital’s first fecal microbiota transplant on Aug. 19. Fecal microbiota transplant is a treatment for debilitating gastrointestinal infections, such as clostridium difficile (C.diff.), that resist antibiotic treatment.

C. diff is a serious infection that causes debilitating diarrhea. It can be treated with antibiotics but commonly recurs. Antibiotics become less effective against the treatment with each recurrence. In these cases, a fecal microbiota transplant may be required to help the patient recover.

“C. diff is a particularly difficult and potentially life-threatening infection,” Dr. Pervez said. “These patients experience diarrhea, cramps, nausea, loss of appetite, and other symptoms that can be quite unpleasant. Fecal microbiota transplant offers another line of defense for us against this disease and has a close to 92 percent cure rate.”

The procedure transfers donor stool into the gastrointestinal tract of the recipient through colonoscopy, enema, nasogastric tube, or in capsule form. This allows the healthy gut bacteria to repopulate the recipients’ digestive system so they can recover from the infection.

Fecal microbiota transplant is safe and presents little risk to the recipient. It has been found to be well tolerated, even in high-risk patients.

Stool donors are healthy volunteers without any comorbid conditions who go through an extensive screening process to assess their eligibility to donate stool.

Research has shown that fecal microbiota transplant may be effective for the treatment of conditions other than C. diff, including inflammatory bowel disease, functional gastrointestinal disorders, or metabolic disorders.