“Intestinal Microbiota Transplant” -New Terminology for Fecal Transplant

A recent letter to the editor (A Khoruts, LJ Brandt, Am J Gastroenterol 114: 1176) suggests that the terms “Fecal Transplant” or “Fecal Microbiota Transplantation” (FMT) should be abandoned in favor of “intestinal microbiota transplant.”

  • First of all, the authors argue that the word “fecal” is no longer accurate as some transplants occur by swallowing capsules of purified microbiota and the days of “blending raw stool near the bedside are largely over.”
  • Secondly, the term “fecal” is highly problematic.  “We are hard-wired to perceive feces to be disgusting.”
  • Third, the media sensation from the terms FMT or fecal transplant “has not translated into substantial positive consequences, such as funding research…[or] philanthropic fundraising.”

Thus, the authors advocate “Intestinal Microbiota Transplant” or IMT.

My take: (borrowed from authors) It is time to “abandon the scatologic humor that is arguably threatening further development of this promising therapeutic approach.”

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