Frozen Samples Comparable to Fresh in Fecal Transplant for C. Difficile

HealthDay News — Frozen stool samples work just as well as freshly donated samples when treating Clostridium difficile infection through fecal transplantation, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Christine Lee, MD, director of the microbiology residency program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and colleagues randomly assigned 232 C. difficile patients to receive either a frozen or fresh fecal transplantation via enema.

The researchers found that frozen samples cured 83.5% of patients within 13 weeks, compared with 85.1% of patients treated with fresh samples. Further, the researchers noted no serious side effects with either fresh or frozen fecal transplantation.

“Among adults with recurrent or refractory Clostridium difficile infection, the use of frozen compared with fresh fecal microbiota transplantation did not result in worse proportion of clinical resolution of diarrhea,” the authors write. “Given the potential advantages of providing frozen fecal microbiota transplantation, its use is a reasonable option in this setting.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Rebiotix.


1. Lee CH, Steiner T, Petrof EO, et al. Frozen vs Fresh Fecal Microbiota Transplantation and Clinical Resolution of Diarrhea in Patients With Recurrent Clostridium difficile InfectionA Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA.2016;2016;315(2):142-149.