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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 26, Issue 7, Pages 457-462

A Canadian Working Group Report on Fecal Microbial Therapy: Microbial Ecosystems Therapeutics

Emma Allen-Vercoe,1 Gregor Reid,2 Norman Viner,3 Gregory B Gloor,2 Susy Hota,5 Peter Kim,1 Christine Lee,4 Kieran C O’Doherty,1 Stephen J Vanner,6 J Scott Weese,1 and Elaine O Petrof6

1University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
2University of Western Ontario and Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Canada
3Health Canada, Ottawa, Canada
4McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
5University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
6Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Received 20 March 2012; Accepted 5 April 2012

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A working group from across Canada comprised of clinician and basic scientists, epidemiologists, ethicists, Health Canada regulatory authorities and representatives of major funding agencies (Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada) met to review the current experience with fecal microbial therapy and to identify the key areas of study required to move this field forward. The report highlights the promise of fecal microbial therapy and related synthetic stool therapy (together called ‘microbial ecosystems therapeutics’) for the treatment of Clostridium difficile colitis and, possibly, other disorders. It identifies pressing clinical issues that need to be addressed as well as social, ethical and regulatory barriers to the use of these important therapies.