This latest issue of La Revue des Microbiotes includes a report on faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) that is sure to surprise you because it describes a treatment that flies in the face of current medical practice.
FMT has been developed through experience instead of experiments. Science does not fully understand how this treatment works, but the results are spectacular for one narrow indication—chronic colitis caused by Clostridioides difficileE. Nevertheless, throughout medical history, no treatment has ever sparked such enthusiasm. FMT could have untold benefits and the ability to heal everything from Crohn’s disease and autism to hepatic encephalopathy.
Because patients have been quicker to try the treatment than doctors, people might be trying FMT without any guidelines or even at home. In response, ANSM (the French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products) and the Groupe Français de Transplantation Fécale*
(French Faecal Transplantation Group) decided to implement an emergency regulatory framework.
How the treatment is defined is important. France has decided it classifies as a medicine and should only be dispensed by hospital pharmacies, which are hardly used to dealing with human excrement. In the Netherlands, however, faecal matter is defined as a tissue.
The goal of this article is to provide reliable and scientifically validated information, even if it means leaving multiple questions unanswered. With the interview of Harry Sokol, a pioneer in FMT in France and an international expert in the field, you will get a behind-the-scenes look at the early development of the technique.
Happy reading and browsing!