In DepthMicrobiome Research

Banking on stool despite an uncertain future

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Science  10 Jun 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6291, pp. 1261-1262
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6291.1261

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Summary

Five stool banks have opened their doors in Europe and the United States since 2012, the latest one earlier this year in Leiden, the Netherlands. These banks take fresh stool from donors, process it, and store it for later use in fecal microbiota transplants, a procedure in which doctors seek to restore the normal microbial balance in a patient's gut with a dose of stool from a healthy volunteer. More such banks are in the planning, yet their long-term future is unclear. Regulators have yet to decide on how to regulate the banks' products, and several companies are busy developing gut microbiome replacements that could, in the long run, make the stool banks obsolete.

  • * in Leiden, the Netherlands