Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Commonly Failed in Children with Co-Morbidities

Richard Kellermayer, Qinglong Wu, Dorottya Nagy-Szakal, Karen Queliza, Faith D. Ihekweazu, Claire E. Bocchini, Abria R. Magee, Numan Oezguen, Jennifer K. Spinler, Emily B. Hollister, Robert J. Shulman, James Versalovic, Ruth Ann Luna, Tor C. Savidge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives:Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is arguably the most effective treatment for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (rCDI). Clinical reports on pediatric FMT have not systematically evaluated microbiome restoration in patients with co-morbidities. Here, we determined whether FMT recipient age and underlying co-morbidity influenced clinical outcomes and microbiome restoration when treated from shared fecal donor sources.Methods:Eighteen rCDI patients participating in a single-center, open-label prospective cohort study received fecal preparation from a self-designated (single case) or two universal donors. Twelve age-matched healthy children and four pediatric ulcerative colitis (UC) cases from an independent serial FMT trial, but with a shared fecal donor were examined as controls for microbiome restoration using 16S rRNA gene sequencing of longitudinal fecal specimens.Results:FMT was significantly more effective in rCDI recipients without underlying chronic co-morbidities where fecal microbiome composition in post-transplant responders was restored to levels of healthy children. Microbiome reconstitution was not associated with symptomatic resolution in some rCDI patients who had co-morbidities. Significant elevation in Bacteroidaceae, Bifidobacteriaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcaceae, and Erysipelotrichaceae was consistently observed in pediatric rCDI responders, while Enterobacteriaceae decreased, correlating with augmented complex carbohydrate degradation capacity.Conclusion:Recipient background disease was a significant risk factor influencing FMT outcomes. Special attention should be taken when considering FMT for pediatric rCDI patients with underlying co-morbidities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Clostridioides difficile
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • microbiome
  • pediatric fecal transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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