Assuring safety of fecal microbiota transplantation in the COVID-19 era: A single-center experience

Tien En Chang, Kuei Chuan Lee*, Pei Chang Lee, Yen Po Wang, Yi Tsung Lin, Hui Chun Huang, Jiing Chyuan Luo, Hsiang Ling Ho, Yi Hsiang Huang, Ming Chih Hou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Aim: Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is used to treat recurrent or refractory Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). In the past, screening of fecal donors required surveillance of personal behavior, medical history, and diseases that could be transmitted by the blood or fecal–oral route. In addition, the exclusion of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) has been recommended since 2018. This task has become more complicated in the era of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. To prevent fecal transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), it is crucial to commence screening for SARS-CoV-2, alongside other traditional tests. Our aim was to investigate whether hidden carriers of SARS-CoV-2 were enrolled for stool donation, and the status of the presence or incidence of MDRO during fecal donation in Taiwan. Methods: Fecal products collected from March 2019 to December 2022 were tested for MDRO and nucleic acid amplification tests for SARS-CoV-2 using the pooling method. The period of fecal product collection crossed the time before and during the COVID pandemic in Taiwan. Results: A total of 151 fecal samples were collected. The fecal products were tested using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect SARS-CoV-2. The results were negative for all stocks. This was similar to the results of MDRO testing. The safety of FMT products has been guaranteed during the pandemic. Conclusion: Our FMT center produced MDRO-free and COVID-19-free products before and during the COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan. Our protocol was effective for ensuring the safety of FMT products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-771
Number of pages7
JournalJGH Open
Volume7
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • donor screening
  • fecal microbiota transplantation
  • multidrug-resistant organism
  • SARS-CoV-2

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