Gut Liver.  2022 Sep;16(5):775-785. 10.5009/gnl210369.

Exploration of Potential Gut Microbiota-Derived Biomarkers to Predict the Success of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Ulcerative Colitis: A Prospective Cohort in Korea

  • 1Department of Applied Biosciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Severance Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Center, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Pukyong National University, Busan, Korea
  • 4Department of Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea


Although fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been proven as one of the promising treatments for patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), potential prognostic markers regarding the clinical outcomes of FMT remain elusive.
We collected fecal samples of 10 participants undergoing FMT to treat UC and those from the corresponding donors. We categorized them into two groups: responders and nonresponders. Sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene was conducted on the samples to explore bacterial composition.
Analyzing the gut microbiota of patients who showed different outcomes in FMT presented a distinct microbial niche. Source tracking analysis showed the nonresponder group had a higher rate of preservation of donor microbiota, underscoring that engraftment degrees are not one of the major drivers for the success of FMT. At the phylum level, Bacteroidetes bacteria were significantly depleted (p<0.003), and three genera, including Enterococcus, Rothia, and Pediococcus, were enriched in the responder group before FMT (p=0.003, p=0.025, and p=0.048, respectively). Furthermore, we applied a machine learning algorithm to build a prediction model that might allow the prediction of FMT outcomes, which yielded an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.844. Notably, the microbiota-based model was much better at predicting outcomes than the clinical features model (area under the ROC curve=0.531).
This study is the first to suggest the significance of indigenous microbiota of recipients as a critical factor. The result highlights that bacterial composition should be evaluated before FMT to select suitable patients and achieve better efficiency.


Fecal microbiota transplantation; Fecal microbiota transplantation outcome; Machine learning; Ulcerative colitis
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