Long-term bacterial and fungal dynamics following oral lyophilized fecal microbiota transplantation in Clostridioides difficile infection

Craig Haifer, Sudarshan Paramsothy, Thomas J. Borody, Annabel Clancy, Rupert W. Leong, Nadeem O. Kaakoush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


Oral lyophilized fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is effective in recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI); however, limited data exist on its efficacy in primary CDI and long-term microbial engraftment. Patients with primary or recurrent CDI were prospectively enrolled to receive oral FMT. Changes in the bacterial and fungal communities were characterized prior to and up to 6 months following treatment. A total of 37 patients with CDI (15 primary, 22 recurrent) were treated with 6 capsules each containing 0.35-g lyophilized stool extract. A total of 33 patients (89%) had sustained CDI cure, of whom 3 required a second course. There were no safety signals identified. FMT significantly increased bacterial diversity and shifted composition toward donor profiles in responders but not in nonresponders, with robust donor contribution observed to 6 months following FMT (P < 0.001). Responders showed consistent decreases in Enterobacteriaceae and increases in Faecalibacterium sp. to levels seen in donors. Mycobiome profiling revealed an association with FMT failure and increases in one Penicillium taxon, as well as coexclusion relationships between Candida sp. and bacterial taxa enriched in both donors and responders. Primary CDI was associated with more robust changes in the bacterial community than those with recurrent disease. Oral FMT leads to durable microbial engraftment in patients with primary and recurrent CDI, with several microbial taxa being associated with therapy outcome. Novel coexclusion relationships between bacterial and fungal species support the clinical relevance of transkingdom dynamics. Importance Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is a substantial health concern worldwide, complicated by patterns of increasing antibiotic resistance that may impact primary treatment. Orally administered fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is efficacious in the management of recurrent CDI, with specific bacterial species known to influence clinical outcomes. To date, little is known about the efficacy of FMT in primary CDI and the impact of the mycobiome on therapeutic outcomes. We performed matched bacterial and fungal sequencing on longitudinal samples from a cohort of patients treated with oral FMT for primary and recurrent CDI. We validated many bacterial signatures following oral therapy, confirmed engraftment of donor microbiome out to 6 months following therapy, and demonstrated coexclusion relationships between Candida albicans and two bacterial species in the gut microbiota, which has potential significance beyond CDI, including in the control of gut colonization by this fungal species.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00905-20
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • fecal microbiota transplantation
  • Clostridioides difficile infection
  • mycobiome
  • microbiome


Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term bacterial and fungal dynamics following oral lyophilized fecal microbiota transplantation in Clostridioides difficile infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this