An article by the American Association for the Advancement of Science reported that fecal microbiota transplants (FMT) from healthy, non-allergic donors has helped some young adults with severe peanut allergy to safely consume small quantities of peanut.
The fecal microbiota transplantation process involves delivering “good” faecal bacteria from healthy donors to patients.
The FMT treatment is taken from stool samples provided by healthy, non-allergic donors and delivered in frozen capsules. It enabled some study participants, who initially had allergic reactions to less than half of a peanut, to consume more than two peanuts before reacting, the study found. That amount may be enough to eliminate concern about traces of peanut in foods, says Dr. Rima Rachid of Boston Children’s Hospital.
Phase 1 (with two stages) of the clinical trial involved taking microbiome from stool samples of healthy donors without allergies and was delivered through frozen capsules which the participants (aged 18-33-year-olds) ingested. By the second stage of this phase (where the participants were pre-treated with antibiotic to clear their own microbiome), no serious adverse reactions were observed.
The optimistic clinical observations and laboratory test results were consistent despite the small study sample.
According to Dr Rachid, this initial outcome shows that “the therapeutic response to FMT is microbiome-related” and that “this study offers hope that microbiome interventions may be effective in treating food allergies”. Dr Rachid is now hoping to conduct Phase 2 of the clinical trial in 12 to 17-year-olds, in partnership with University of Minnesota. This phase will involve Microbial Transplantation Therapy (MTT) that can be stored in the refrigerator and administered at home, lessening the burden to participants’ time and resources needed to go to a clinic.
American Association for the Advancement of Science (2022). Good early results with fecal microbiota therapy for peanut-allergic patients. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/944014
Boston Children’s Hospital. (2022). Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT). https://www.childrenshospital.org/treatments/fmt
What is Biotechnology? (2022). Faecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT). https://whatisbiotechnology.org/index.php/science/summary/fmt/faecal-microbiota-transplantation-involves-the-infusion-of
Allergy Today, May 2022