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Sci Rep. 2019 Jun 20;9(1):8897. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45173-4.

A Guide for Ex Vivo Handling and Storage of Stool Samples Intended for Fecal Microbiota Transplantation.

Author information

1
Micalis Institute, INRA, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, 78350, Jouy-en-Josas, France.
2
Université Paris-Saclay, MetaGenoPolis, INRA, 78350, Jouy-en-Josas, France.
3
MaIAGE, INRA, Université Paris-Saclay, 78350, Jouy-en-Josas, France.
4
GMPA, INRA, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, 78850, Thiverval-Grignon, France.
5
MaaT Pharma, Pharmaceutical Development, 69007, Lyon, France.
6
Micalis Institute, INRA, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, 78350, Jouy-en-Josas, France. catherine.juste@inra.fr.

Abstract

Owing to the growing recognition of the gut microbiota as a main partner of human health, we are expecting that the number of indications for fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) will increase. Thus, there is an urgent need for standardization of the entire process of fecal transplant production. This study provides a complete standardized procedure to prepare and store live and ready-to-use transplants that meet the standard requirements of good practices to applied use in pharmaceutical industry. We show that, if time before transformation to transplants would exceed 24 hours, fresh samples should not be exposed to temperatures above 20 °C, and refrigeration at 4 °C can be a safe solution. Oxygen-free atmosphere was not necessary and simply removing air above collected samples was sufficient to preserve viability. Transplants prepared in maltodextrin-trehalose solutions, stored in a -80 °C standard freezer and then rapidly thawed at 37 °C, retained the best revivification potential as  proven by 16S rRNA profiles, metabolomic fingerprints, and flow cytometry assays over a 3-month observation period. Maltodextrin-trehalose containing cryoprotectants were also efficient in preserving viability of lyophilized transplants, either in their crude or purified form, an option that can be attractive for fecal transplant biobanking and oral formulation.

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