Patient dies from fecal transplant containing drug-resistant bacteria

One person has died after receiving a fecal transplant containing drug-resistant bacteria, the Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday.

The FDA is warning health care providers that the use of the so-called fecal microbiota for transplantation (FMT) can lead to serious or life-threatening infections.

Two patients with weakened immune systems who received FMT from the same donor developed serious infections, the FDA said. One patient died.

The FDA noted that the donor stool had not been tested for the drug-resistant bacteria, called extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli, prior to the transplantation. After the illnesses and death occurred, however, a stored preparation of the donor stool was tested, and found to be positive for the identical strain of bacteria found in the two patients.