Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS Biol. 2016 Jul 12;14(7):e1002503. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002503. eCollection 2016 Jul.

Fecal Transplants: What Is Being Transferred?

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America.
2
Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America.

Abstract

Fecal transplants are increasingly utilized for treatment of recurrent infections (i.e., Clostridium difficile) in the human gut and as a general research tool for gain-of-function experiments (i.e., gavage of fecal pellets) in animal models. Changes observed in the recipient's biology are routinely attributed to bacterial cells in the donor feces (~1011 per gram of human wet stool). Here, we examine the literature and summarize findings on the composition of fecal matter in order to raise cautiously the profile of its multipart nature. In addition to viable bacteria, which may make up a small fraction of total fecal matter, other components in unprocessed human feces include colonocytes (~107 per gram of wet stool), archaea (~108 per gram of wet stool), viruses (~108 per gram of wet stool), fungi (~106 per gram of wet stool), protists, and metabolites. Thus, while speculative at this point and contingent on the transplant procedure and study system, nonbacterial matter could contribute to changes in the recipient's biology. There is a cautious need for continued reductionism to separate out the effects and interactions of each component.

PMID:
27404502
PMCID:
PMC4942072
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.1002503
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center