In recent years, one particular transplant technique has received a lot of attention: fecal transplantation. By extracting the microbiota from the feces of a healthy donor and injecting it into a sick patient, this method has already proven itself several times. Today, researchers are revealing that some 'super donors' may be able to help cure victims of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or type 2 diabetes much more effectively than others.
After an enormous amount of follow-up research in the field of fecal transplantation, researchers have been able to reveal that not all donors are equal. The data obtained 'demonstrates the existence of "super-donors," whose stool is particularly likely to influence the host gut and to lead to clinical improvement,' explained Justin O'Sullivan, lead author of the study published in the Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology journal.
Indeed, the donations of some participants resulted in remission rates sometimes twice as high as the average. This 'power' had long been suspected, but this study is the first to confirm its existence. This is excellent news for patients with CIS and type 2 diabetes, two diseases that have so far shown more resistance to transplantation than other disorders.
Not everything is in the stool
By taking a closer look at the most effective samples, the researchers found a more diverse microbiota, as well as a significant concentration of some key species of bacteria. These bacteria, which are often absent in IBS patients, are reimplanted at the time of transplantation and help restore balance.
However, the researchers point out that not everything depends on the donor's microbiota. A wide range of factors such as genetic compatibility, immune responses, the presence of certain viruses and bacteria, or simply the type of disease being treated all play a role in the success of the transplant. Better discerning these variables in order to provide better care is the researchers' goal for the next few years.