Background: Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is an effective treatment for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (rCDI). It restores the disrupted intestinal microbiota and subsequently suppresses C. difficile. The long-term stability of the intestinal microbiota and the recovery of mucosal microbiota, both of which have not been previously studied, are assessed herein. Further, the specific bacteria behind the treatment efficacy are also investigated. Methods: We performed a high-throughput microbiota profiling using a phylogenetic microarray analysis of 131 faecal and mucosal samples from 14 rCDI patients pre- and post-FMT during a 1-year follow-up and 23 samples from the three universal donors over the same period. Results: The FMT treatment was successful in all patients. FMT reverted the patients' bacterial community to become dominated by Clostridium clusters IV and XIVa, the major anaerobic bacterial groups of the healthy gut. In the mucosa, the amount of facultative anaerobes decreased, whereas Bacteroidetes increased. Post-FMT, the patients' microbiota profiles were more similar to their own donors than what is generally observed for unrelated subjects and this striking similarity was retained throughout the 1-year follow-up. Furthermore, the universal donor approach allowed us to identify bacteria commonly established in all CDI patients and revealed a commonly acquired core microbiota consisting of 24 bacterial taxa. Conclusions: FMT induces profound microbiota changes, therefore explaining the high clinical efficacy for rCDI. The identification of commonly acquired bacteria could lead to effective bacteriotherapeutic formulations. FMT can affect microbiota in the long-term and offers a means to modify it relatively permanently for the treatment of microbiota-associated diseases.
- Mucosal bacteria
- Universal donor