[Posted 06/13/2019]

AUDIENCE: Patient, Healthcare Professional

ISSUE: The FDA is now aware of bacterial infections caused by multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) that have occurred due to transmission of a MDRO from use of investigational fecal microbiota for transplantation (FMT):

  • Two immunocompromised adults who received investigational FMT developed invasive infections caused by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (E.coli). One of the individuals died.
    • FMT used in these two individuals were prepared from stool obtained from the same donor.
    • The donor stool and resulting FMT used in these two individuals were not tested for ESBL-producing gram-negative organisms prior to use. After these adverse events occurred, stored preparations of FMT from this stool donor were tested and found to be positive for ESBL-producing E. coli identical to the organisms isolated from the two patients.

RECOMMENDATION: Patients considering FMT to treat C. difficile infection should speak to their health care provider to understand the potential risks associated with the product’s use.

Healthcare providers must obtain adequate consent for the use of FMT from the patient or his or her legally authorized representative. The consent should include, at a minimum, a statement that the use of FMT to treat C. difficile is investigational and a discussion of its potential risks. FDA is informing members of the medical and scientific communities and other interested persons of the potential risk of transmission of MDROs by FMT and the resultant serious adverse reactions that may occur. 

  • Donor screening with questions that specifically address risk factors for colonization with MDROs, and exclusion of individuals at higher risk of colonization with MDROs.
  • MDRO testing of donor stool and exclusion of stool that tests positive for MDRO. FDA scientists have determined the specific MDRO testing and frequency that should be implemented.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online
  • Download form  or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

[06/14/2019 – Safety Communication – FDA]