SUMMARY The incidence, morbidity, and mortality associated with Clostridium difficile gastrointestinal infections has increased greatly over recent years, reaching epidemic proportions; a trend due, in part, to the emergence of hypervirulent and antibiotic-resistant strains. The need to identify alternative, non-antibiotic, treatment strategies is therefore urgent. The ability of bacteria in faecal matter transplanted from healthy individuals to displace pathogen populations is well recognized. Further, there is growing evidence that such faecal microbiota transplantation can be of benefit in a wide range of conditions associated with gut dysbiosis. Recent technical advances have greatly increased our ability to understand the processes that underpin the beneficial changes in bacterial community composition, as well as to characterize their extent and duration. However, while much of the research into faecal microbiota transplantation focuses currently on achieving clinical efficacy, the potential for such therapies to contribute to the transmission of infective agents also requires careful consideration.
- Clostridium difficile
- gastrointestinal infections