A recent study (J Jalanka et al. AP&T 2018; 47: 371-9-thanks to Ben Gold for this reference) provide long-term data of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT).
In this study of 84 adult patients who were treated for C difficile infection, 45 who had received FMT and 39 treated with antibiotics, the authors determined the frequency of adverse sequelae at 3.8 years using a retrospective questionnaire.
- There were no difference in the development of severe diseases between FMT recipients and control patients (eg. IBD, cancer, autoimmune diseases, allergy, and neurological diseases)
- There were no differences in weight gain
- FMT patients reported faster improvements in bowel habits and reported that their mental health improved after treatment
- FMT patients had fewer symptoms of functional gastrointestinal disorders than the control (antibiotic) patients
The authors note that FMT is frequently recommended based on three recurrences of C difficile infection and that their study would support using FMT earlier as a treatment option.
My take: Though a small study, these data suggest that FMT is effective and without long-term consequences.