Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


W.M. Keck Science Department

Second Department


Reader 1

Diane Thomson

Reader 2

Suzanne Kern

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© 2016 Cassie Chan


Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is the process by which fecal suspension from a healthy individual is transferred into the gastrointestinal tract of another individual in an attempt to cure certain diseases. This transplantation process has been accredited as being a potential remedy for a growing number of diseases that have been associated with gut microbial imbalances. Interest in FMT has largely been driven by the science community’s increasing interest in the gut microbiome and its role in potentially regulating a multitude of different functions and processes within the human body. One disease that has been found to respond exceptionally well to FMT treatments is Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). However, while FMT has demonstrated high cure rates for CDI, this transplantation process is no panacea. In fact, the results from FMT treatments on other diseases, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), have not been as impressive as CDI’s. This review will examine the existing literature surrounding FMT usage on IBD and will propose a series of experiments and studies needed to truly test the safety and efficacy of FMT for IBD patients. This review will also reference current literature documenting FMT treatments for CDI as a comparative tool for investigating if this form of bacteriotherapy is indeed a viable therapeutic option for treating IBD.

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