Sat, Dec 30, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Five-year-old boy first in the nation to undergo fecal microbiota transplant

By Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff writer, with CNA

A five-year-old boy has undergone the first pediatric fecal microbiota transplant in Taiwan to treat a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), a pediatric gastroenterologist said on Thursday.

The fecal donor was the boy’s 11-year-old brother, said Chen Chien-chang (陳建彰), an attending physician and assistant professor at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology division in New Taipei City.

Several months ago, the boy damaged his esophagus and stomach after accidentally consuming alkaline and was admitted to the hospital, Chen said.

He developed sepsis, but after being treated with antibiotics for more than four weeks, his condition gradually stabilized and he was discharged, Chen said.

However, the large amount of antibiotics he took during treatment caused a change in his intestinal flora, Chen said, adding that almost no good bacteria were left in his intestines.

The boy gradually began experiencing abdominal swelling, pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding and other symptoms, Chen said.

After seeking medical attention, it was discovered that he had been infected with the highly drug-resistant bacteria Clostridium difficile, Chen said.

The infection resulted in intestinal inflammation, which proved resistant to treatment by vancomycin and other conventional antibiotics, Chen said.

After learning that research from Europe and the US shows that altering the intestinal flora could eliminate CDI, the boy’s family decided to accept the treatment method, Chen said.

A day after the transplant through colonoscopy, the boy’s symptoms began to improve, Chen said.

After two weeks, the Clostridium difficile in the boy’s intestines had completely disappeared, he said.

Besides being able to treat CDI, the transplant could also be applied to treat inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome or other intestinal diseases, Chen said.

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