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Kidney Int. 2006 Oct;70(7):1305-11. Epub 2006 Jul 19.

Oxalobacter formigenes: a potential tool for the treatment of primary hyperoxaluria type 1.

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Division of Pediatric Nephrology, University Children's Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany.


Primary hyperoxaluria is characterized by severe urolithiasis, nephrocalcinosis, and early renal failure. As treatment options are scarce, we aimed for a new therapeutic tool using colonic degradation of endogenous oxalate by Oxalobactor formigenes. Oxalobacter was orally administered for 4 weeks as frozen paste (IxOC-2) or as enteric-coated capsules (IxOC-3). Nine patients (five with normal renal function, one after liver-kidney transplantation, and three with renal failure) completed the IxOC-2 study. Seven patients (six with normal renal function and one after liver-kidney transplantation) completed the IxOC-3 study. Urinary oxalate or plasma oxalate in renal failure was determined at baseline, weekly during treatment and for a 2-week follow-up. The patients who showed >20% reduction both at the end of weeks 3 and 4 were considered as responders. Under IxOC-2, three out of five patients with normal renal function showed a 22-48% reduction of urinary oxalate. In addition, two renal failure patients experienced a significant reduction in plasma oxalate and amelioration of clinical symptoms. Under IxOC-3 treatment, four out of six patients with normal renal function responded with a reduction of urinary oxalate ranging from 38.5 to 92%. Although all subjects under IxOC-2 and 4 patients under IxOC-3 showed detectable levels of O. formigenes in stool during treatment, fecal recovery dropped directly at follow up, indicating only transient gastrointestinal-tract colonization. The preliminary data indicate that O. formigenes is safe, leads to a significant reduction of either urinary or plasma oxalate, and is a potential new treatment option for primary hyperoxaluria.

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