Physicians’ attitude towards fecal microbiota transplant in Iran


BACKGROUND: Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is employed to replace the ‘unhealthy’ microbiota of the patient with the ‘healthy’ microbiota of a pre-screened healthy donor. Given the growing importance of gut microbiota dysbiosis in the pathogenesis of intestinal or extraintestinal diseases; it is conceivable that FMT becomes integrated in the routine clinical practice. Our objective was to assess the knowledge and attitude of the Iranian physicians towards FMT.

METHODS: We surveyed the participants of Iranian gastroenterology and hepatology 2014 conference.

RESULTS: Overall, 146 (68.5%) were familiar with FMT; of whom 132 (94.28%) were willing to accept FMT if scientifically and ethically approved and 115 (88.46%) were willing to refer their patients for FMT if indicated. In total, 42 (30.7%) had identified stool preparation as the most unappealing aspect of FMT, while 17 (11.6%) reported the therapeutic use of fecal material as the most unappealing and 39 (28.5%) indicated that both are equally unappealing. The doctors who had an overall positive opinion toward FMT reported less negative feelings towards FMT.

CONCLUSION: Iranian physicians are willing to accept FMT as a therapeutic option if it is scientifically justified and ethically approved. Nevertheless, physicians prefer to skip the stool preparation phase; as they are more in favour of synthetic microbiota as opposed to fecal microbiota.

Middle East Journal of Digestive Diseases