Welcome to the premier stool donor program
When a desperate patient suffering from debilitating, recurrent Clostridium diffiicile infection approached Dr. Alexander Khoruts in 2008, he knew that he would have to think outside the box. Standard treatments were ineffective, and the patient had lost 60 pounds. Dr. Khoruts reverted to a primarily unknown procedure which involved seeding the patient’s colon with healthy microbiota from a donor. He performed the first microbiota transplant via a colonoscopy. Analysis of fecal bacterial composition following the transplant showed successful proliferation of a microbial community similar to the donor. The patient experienced immediate relief of symptoms. So began the necessity of a donor program, which the University of Minnesota founded in 2012. Over 800 patients have received intestinal microbiota transplants to date at the University of Minnesota, while the protocols have been used to treat close to 100,000 patients worldwide.
Our program was born in 2008 in response to a challenge posed by Clostridium difficile infections, which have become increasingly more difficult to control with antibiotics alone. However, C. difficile infection is only one of many problems associated with damage done to the human gut microbes (the gut ‘microbiota’), and repair of this microbiota is a new frontier of medicine. Therefore, our missions include:
- Provide clinical care to patients suffering from C. difficile infections
- Develop next-generation microbiota-based therapeutics through basic research and clinical trials for various indications
- Educate healthcare providers, students, regulators, and the general public about microbiota-based therapeutics and the role of microbiota in health and disease