Ranjit Kumar, Nengjun Yi, Degui Zhi, Peter Eipers, Kelly T. Goldsmith, Paula Dixon, David K. Crossman, Michael R. Crowley, Elliot J. Lefkowitz, J. Martin Rodriguez and Casey D. Morrow
Fecal microbiota transplantation has been shown to be an effective treatment for patients with recurrent C. difficile colitis. Although fecal microbiota transplantation helps to re-establish a normal gut function in patients, the extent of the repopulation of the recipient microbial community varies. To further understand this variation, it is important to determine the fate of donor microbes in the patients following fecal microbiota transplantation. We have developed a new method that utilizes the unique single nucleotide variants of gut microbes to accurately identify microbes in paired fecal samples from the same individual taken at different times. Using this method, we identified transplant donor microbes in seven recipients 3–6 months after fecal microbiota transplantation; in two of these fecal microbiota transplantation, we were able to identify donor microbes that persist in recipients up to 2 years post-fecal microbiota transplantation. Our study provides new insights into the dynamics of the reconstitution of the gastrointestinal microbe community structure following fecal microbiota transplantation.