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Lifeblood Microbiome

A pilot program to provide life-changing faecal microbiota for transplants.
 

What is a faecal microbiota for transplant?

It’s a donation that most people flush away. That’s right — we’re talking about poo.

This is when we collect a stool from a healthy donor, process and test it, then transport it to clinicians to transplant into a patient with the aim to relieve symptoms or treat a disease.

 

How does it work?

Your digestive system, or gut, has millions of tiny living organisms and bacteria living in it. These are known as gut flora or gut microbiota. The types and numbers of organisms you have in your gut affects your health — whether for good or bad.

The goal of a faecal microbiota transplant is to transfer good, healthy microbiota from a donor into someone whose current gut microbiota may be making them sick.

 

What is the Lifeblood Microbiome pilot?

During our Western Australian pilot program, we’ll provide Fiona Stanley Hospital with a reliable supply of faecal microbiota transplants to treat patients suffering from life-threatening recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection.

We’re excited about this new opportunity to help more Australian patients and we’re really looking forward to the results of the pilot.

 

What is recurrent C. difficile and why treat it with faecal microbiota transplants?

Recurrent C. difficile is a serious, life-changing bacterial infection within the gut. It happens in some patients who’ve had treatment with antibiotics, and it’s pervasive, debilitating — and can even be fatal.

Life with recurrent C. difficile infection is devastating. People with it often can’t work or do any physical activity, so they can’t live normal lives.

Treating it with antibiotics doesn’t work well and it often comes back. However, faecal microbiota transplants successfully treats recurrent C. difficile in 70–90% of people. 

In 2018 around 2,700 people across Australia could have benefited from faecal microbiota transplants. Numbers like these are why we believe it’s worth trialling a way to get more of this effective treatment safely to patients.

 

Why is Lifeblood doing this pilot?

Initiatives like this are part of how we support all Australians through vital, life-giving biological products.

We already have expertise in supplying donated biological products from our blood and milk services, so this is a natural step to help us save even more lives.

 

What else can faecal microbiota help with?

In the future this therapy could potentially help people with other gut conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — there are lots of studies currently happening in this space.

At the moment, though, our trial is focused on treating recurrent C. difficile because it’s proven to be effective and we can help people right now.

 

The Microbiota Donor Centre is now open in Perth!

We are now recruiting donors to the pilot. To be a donor, you must be in the Perth metro area and meet health, availability and testing requirements. 

Check your eligibility here 

 

I’m a clinician/physician. How do I access faecal microbiota transplants for my patients?

Get in contact with the Microbiome team

 

I have a medical condition and would this treatment help? How do I access it?

For this trial we’re providing a set amount of treatments only for patients with recurrent C. difficile at Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth. If that’s you, talk to your doctor about being involved in the trial.

 

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1300 441 227

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