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Faecal microbiota transplant to ERadicate gastrointestinal carriage of Antibiotic Resistant Organisms (FERARO): a prospective, randomised placebo-controlled feasibility trial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Blair Merrick, Emily Robinson, Catey Bunce, Liz Allen, Karen Bisnauthsing, Chi Chi Izundu, Jordana Bell, Gregory Amos, Manu Shankar-Hari, Anna Goodman, Debbie L Shawcross, Simon D Goldenberg

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e038847
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2020

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.

King's Authors


INTRODUCTION: Antimicrobial resistance is rising, largely due to the indiscriminate use of antimicrobials. The human gut is the largest reservoir of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB). Individuals colonised with ARB have the potential to spread these organisms both in the community and hospital settings. Infections with ARB such as extended spectrum beta-lactamase producing enterobacteriales (ESBL-E) and carbapenemase producing enterobacteriales (CPE) are more difficult to treat and are associated with an increased morbidity and mortality. Presently, there is no effective decolonisation strategy for these ARB. Faecal microbiota transplant (FMT) has emerged as a potential strategy for decolonisation of ARB from the human gut, however there is significant uncertainty about the feasibility, effectiveness and safety of using this approach.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Prospective, randomised, patient-blinded, placebo-controlled feasibility trial of FMT to eradicate gastrointestinal carriage of ARB. Eighty patients with a recent history of invasive infection secondary to ESBL-E or CPE and persistent gastrointestinal carriage will be randomised 1:1 to receive encapsulated FMT or placebo. The primary outcome measure is consent rate (as a proportion of patients who fulfil inclusion/exclusion criteria); this will be used to determine if a substantive trial is feasible. Participants will be followed up at 1 week, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months and monitored for adverse events as well as gastrointestinal carriage rates of ARB after intervention.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Research ethics approval was obtained by London-City and East Research Ethics Committee (ref 20/LO/0117). Trial results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at international conferences.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN registration number 34 467 677 and EudraCT number 2019-001618-41.

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