Transplanting feces from a healthy animal into the gut of an infected one is amazingly reported to wipe out two of the most common antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in the gut that are also found within hospital premises, this research is found in a study of mice.
According to Medical Express, Eric Pamer, from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA and colleagues, investigated the interactions between vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) and multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in the intestinal environment.
The two pathogens are responsible for about 10% of serious hospital-acquired infections in the US. Both can colonize the gut and spread from there, to the same or other patients, to cause localized or systemic infections.
Using a mouse model of intestinal colonization, the researchers first asked whether intestinal domination by either VRE or K. pneumonia would provide resistance against colonization by the other pathogen. They found that VRE and K. pneumoniae occupy the same intestinal sites and neither compete nor synergize with each other upon dense colonization of the mouse gut. While peacefully co-existing, the researchers found that the two pathogens differ with respect to stimulation and invasion of the colonic mucus, suggesting that they reside in distinct niches that satisfy their specific metabolic needs.
It is known that transplantation of feces from healthy mice can eliminate VRE from the intestine of densely colonized mice and, in humans, poop transplant from healthy donors can cure patients with certain pathogenic intestinal infections.
So, to determine whether fecal transplantation can clear K. pneumoniae and concurrent VRE and K. pneumoniae infections, the researchers colonized mice with VRE and K. pneumoniae concurrently and then treated them with fecal microbiota transplants (FMT) or a sterile control solution on 3 consecutive days.
So, the result was…
VRE and K. pneumoniae levels were similar in the feces before FMT administration and remained elevated in mice that received the sterile control solution. In contrast, following FMT treatment, K. pneumoniae density in fecal pellets decreased within one day and became undetectable within 7 days in all mice. VRE, on the other hand, was cleared in 60% of the mice and reduced by a thousand-fold in the remaining 40%.
In conclusion, the researcher’s findings “uncovered previously unrecognized features of VRE and K. pneumoniae colonization and these findings provide insight into the nature of pathogen coexistence, dissemination and ways to eradicate colonization”.
via Medical Express