06 July 2022

Feces in a jar

Scientists have proposed to preserve samples of healthy gut microbiota

They may be useful in the future for the treatment of various diseases.

Tatiana Shcheglova, "Health Mail.ru "

Frozen samples of healthy gut microbiota can help with treatment.  This is stated in an article by specialists from the Harvard University School of Medicine (USA), published in the journal Trends in Molecular Medicine (Ke et al., Rejuvenating the human gut microbiome).

Scientists write that changing the lifestyle and nutrition of the world's population, especially the inhabitants of industrialized countries, has led to a huge modification of the intestinal microbiota (communities of microorganisms inhabiting the digestive tract). Especially strongly such changes in the microbiota have become noticeable in the last few decades, and it is with them that the increase in the incidence of asthma, allergies, diseases of the digestive system, type 2 diabetes and so on is associated.

The authors of the article proposed to combat this state of affairs by creating individual banks of intestinal microbiota, when young and healthy people donate samples of their feces, which are cryopreserved and can be used in the future, if necessary, as autologous fecal transplants.

The method of fecal transplantation has already proven its effectiveness in the treatment of certain diseases, mainly infections caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile. Such infections are difficult to treat with standard antibiotics, and the community of microorganisms contained in the feces of a healthy donor easily prevails over the pathogenic bacterium.

The disadvantage of the method is that a sample of donor feces is injected into the recipient's rectum, which can cause an undesirable reaction of the body due to genetic and other differences. When transplanting your own feces (autologous fecal transplant), there is no risk of such reactions.


As scientists explain, the idea underlying the creation of a personal fecal bank is the same as the basis of the already well—known practice of preserving fetal cord blood samples containing stem cells for possible future use. However, the researchers note, the chances that you will need samples of your feces are still much higher than in the case of umbilical cord blood.

The authors of the article suggest that in the future, the method of rejuvenation of the intestinal microbiota can be used to treat autoimmune diseases such as asthma, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, as well as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and aging.

Stool transplantation is one of the innovative methods in medicine, which has already proven its effectiveness.

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