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Assessment of faecal microbial transfer in irritable bowel syndrome with severe bloating
  1. Tom Holvoet1,
  2. Marie Joossens2,3,4,
  3. Jun Wang2,3,
  4. Jerina Boelens5,
  5. Bruno Verhasselt5,
  6. Debby Laukens1,
  7. Hans van Vlierberghe1,
  8. Pieter Hindryckx1,
  9. Martine De Vos1,
  10. Danny De Looze1,
  11. Jeroen Raes2,3
  1. 1Department of Gastroenterology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
  2. 2KU Leuven - University of Leuven, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Rega Institute, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium
  3. 3VIB, Center for the Biology of Disease, Leuven, Belgium
  4. 4Faculty of Sciences and Bioengineering Sciences, Microbiology Unit, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
  5. 5Department of Medical Microbiology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jeroen Raes, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Rega Institute, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; jeroen.raes{at} TH, MJ, DDL and JR contributed equally.

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We read with interest the work by Halmos et al1 in which they describe the effects of dietary FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono- saccharides And Polyols) restriction in patients with IBS on the intestinal microbiota. They showed that low FODMAP intake was associated with reduced total bacterial and lower relative abundance of butyrate-producing Clostridium cluster XIVa, changes that are generally considered unfavourable.2 Therefore, they discourage long-term dietary FODMAP restriction, a suggestion also supported by the recent work of McIntosh and colleagues who noticed unfavourable changes in both microbiota and metabolome of patients with IBS who were on a low FODMAP diet.3 Although low FODMAP intake reduces GI symptoms in almost 75% of patients with IBS, the effects of this diet on the intestinal microbiota might be disadvantageous in the long run.

Combining these observations with the important role for the intestinal microbiota in IBS pathogenesis,4 we report here faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) as an alternative to FODMAP restriction in patients with IBS. We applied FMT in 12 refractory IBS patients (Rome III criteria) with intermittent diarrhoea and severe bloating, …

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