Before/Donor/After FMT for Autism

A user of my site that is active consulting on autism microbiome manipulation obtained permissions for me to do an analysis of one of his patients going through FMT. All of the microbiome testing was done via Biomesight (including the donor). This is specific type of data that I have been pleading to see if we can make predictive models of what could occur with FMT.

MeasurePriorDonorAfter
Taxonomy374406550
Elusive336
Rare4817
Sparse121533
Infrequent283768
Uncommon6689145

I did analysis at the Species, Genus, Family, Order and Class level trying many many approaches. This summarize my key findings.

The second sample was done one month after the FMT. Patient was very good for a couple of days, then “the war started”. New more severe autism symptoms appeared.

Do NOT expect it to reduce overgrowths!

Looking at the lowest numbers of the recipient prior and the donor, we found that the post-FMT numbers had a clear pattern.

  • At the Class level, 97% was higher than the lowest of the two, 58% was higher than the highest
  • At the Order level, 96% was higher than the lowest of the two, 56% was higher than the highest
  • At the Family level, 95% was higher than the lowest of the two, 61% was higher than the highest
  • At the Genus level, 91% was higher than the lowest of the two, 51% was higher than the highest
  • At the Species level, 94% was higher than the lowest of the two, 47% was higher than the highest

This was shocking — 50% of the bacteria will be higher than either the donor’s or recipient’s levels. Many people will assume that the levels will magically average the two levels. The reality seen here is that only 50% of the time will the new level be between these two levels and 50%of the time it will be higher than either. This is unlikely to be a preferred outcome.

Unexpected Disappearances

There were several items where both the recipient and the donor had bacteria, they were gone in the post-FMT sample! This was not expected, of special interest is that Lactobacillus was wiped out.

  • Order: Puniceicoccales
  • Family: Clostridiales Family XVI. Incertae Sedis
  • Family: Lactobacillaceae
  • Family: Puniceicoccaceae
  • Genus: Alkalibacterium
  • Genus: Butyricimonas
  • Genus: Carboxydocella
  • Genus: Catonella
  • Genus: Lactobacillus
  • Genus: Macrococcus
  • Genus: Pelagicoccus
  • Genus: Turicibacter
  • Species: lingnae
  • Species: Streptococcus oralis
  • Species: Veillonella parvula
  • Species: Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae
  • Species: Carboxydocella ferrireducens
  • Species: Sutterella wadsworthensis
  • Species: Catonella morbi

Many New Kids showed up!

These are bacteria not seen in the recipient prior nor the donor sample

  • Class Level: Acidobacteria, Calditrichae,Chitinophagia,Flavobacteriia,Ktedonobacteria,
  • Order Level: Acidobacteriales, Calditrichales, Caulobacterales, Chitinophagales, Chroococcales, Desulfobacterales, Flavobacteriales, Kiloniellales, Nostocales, Oscillatoriales, Rhodocyclales, Rickettsiales, Streptosporangiales, Synechococcales, Syntrophobacterales, Thermogemmatisporales,
  • Family Level: Acetobacteraceae, Acidobacteriaceae, Anaplasmataceae, Calditrichaceae, Caulobacteraceae, Chitinophagaceae, Chroococcaceae, Clostridiales Family XII. Incertae Sedis, Cyanobacteriaceae, Cytophagaceae, Desulfobacteraceae, Dysgonamonadaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, Fusobacteriaceae, Hymenobacteraceae, Kiloniellaceae, Listeriaceae, Nostocaceae, Oceanospirillaceae, Oscillatoriaceae, Oxalobacteraceae, Prevotellaceae, Pseudanabaenaceae, Rhodanobacteraceae, Rhodocyclaceae, Rickettsiaceae, Rivulariaceae, Streptosporangiaceae, Synechococcaceae, Syntrophobacteraceae, Thermogemmatisporaceae, Thiotrichaceae, Verrucomicrobiaceae,
  • Genus Level: Acholeplasma, Acidaminobacter, Aminobacterium, Ammonifex, Anoxybacillus, Asticcacaulis, Bilophila, Caldithrix, Calothrix, Catenibacterium, Chroococcus, Cyanobacterium, Desulfofrigus, Desulfosporosinus, Dokdonella, Dysgonomonas, Edaphobacter, Ehrlichia, Emticicia, Escherichia, Fusibacter, Fusobacterium, Gillisia, Haemophilus, Insolitispirillum, Kushneria, Listeria, Luteibacter, Lysinibacillus, Marinospirillum, Microbacterium, Neisseria, Niastella, Novispirillum, Oleomonas, Olivibacter, Oscillatoria, Parapedobacter, Paraprevotella, Pelotomaculum, Pontibacter, Ralstonia, Rickettsia, Roseomonas, Sarcina, Sebaldella, Skermanella, Tepidanaerobacter, Tepidimicrobium, Thalassospira, Thermoanaerobacter, Thermogemmatispora, Thiothrix,
  • I will skip the species level…

Bottom line is that the microbiome has become much more diverse

Recent FMT aspects

FMT destabilizes the microbiome, there are “strain riots” in the guts. We can see this with all of the “New Kids” showing up because the existing occupants are busy dealing with each other. This can be seen by the post microbiome having a lot more taxonomical items (550 vs 374 before – a 47% increase), The microbiome, over time, will downsize and stabilize with a new normal. During this period, you want to entrench your desired items by feeding it the right things and avoiding the wrong thing.

Personally, I would suggest a new sample every 6 weeks to monitor the stabilization.

Is FMT Worth the Risk?

FMT is effectively an organ transplant. Like organ transplants, there are significant risks of rejection and no way to undo it once it happens. From correspondence with many people who have tried it for ME/CFS, my feelings are that it is not a magic bullet. It is closer to playing Russian roulette, but with 5 of the 6 bullet chambers have bullets in them.

I just spent 90 minutes zooming to the consultant involved with this autistic child. We both agreed that FMT for autistic children is not a wise course. The consultant is scratching their head on what to help this child recover from this situation.

Some prior posts on FMT

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