Fame and future of faecal transplantations – developing next-generation therapies with synthetic microbiomes


  • Willem M. de Vos

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
    • Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands
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  • Funding Information No funding information provided.

For correspondence. E-mail willem.devos@wur.nl; Tel. (+31) 317 483100; Fax (+31) 317 483829.


While practised for over thousand years, there is presently a renaissance in the interest of using of faecal transplantations to modify the intestinal microbiota of patients. This clinical practice consists of delivering large amounts of bowel microbes in various forms into the intestinal tract of the recipient that usually has been cleared previously. The major reason for the popularity of faecal transplantations is their effectiveness in treating a variety of diseases. Hence, there is a need to develop this procedure to the next level. While there are various developments to select, standardize and store the donor microbiota, it is more challenging to understand the intestinal microbial communities and develop ways to deliver these via robust biotechnological processes. The various approaches that have been followed to do so are discussed in this contribution that is also addressing the concept of the minimal microbiome as well as the production of the synthetic communities that can be instrumental in new therapeutic avenues to modify the intestinal microbiota.