Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a remitting relapsing chronic eczematous pruritic disease. Several studies suggest that gut microbiota may influence AD by immune system regulation. Methods: We performed the first in-human efficacy and safety assessment of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for AD adult patients. All patients received 2 placebo transplantations followed by 4 FMTs each 2 weeks apart. AD severity and fecal microbiome profile were evaluated by the Scoring Atopic Dermatitis Score (SCORAD), the weekly frequency of topical corticosteroids usage, and gut microbiota metagenomic analysis, at the study beginning, before every FMT, and 1–8 months after the last FMT. Results: Nine patients completed the study protocol. There was no significant change in the SCORAD score following the two placebo transplants. The average SCORAD score significantly decreased from baseline at Weeks 4–12 (before and 2 weeks after 4 times of FMT) (59.2 ± 34.9%, Wilcoxon p =.011), 50% and 75% decrease was achieved by 7 (77%) and 4 (44%) patients, respectively. At Week 18 (8 weeks after the last FMT) the average SCORAD score decreased from baseline at Week 4 (85.5 ± 8.4%, Wilcoxon p =.018), 50% and 75% decrease was achieved by 7 (77%) and 6 (66.7%) patients respectively. Weekly topical corticosteroids usage was diminished during the study and follow-up period as well. Two patients had a quick relapse and were switched to a different treatment. Two patients developed exacerbations alleviated after an additional fifth FMT. Metagenomic analysis of the fecal microbiota of patients and donors showed bacterial strains transmission from donors to patients. No adverse events were recorded during the study and follow-up period. Conclusions: FMT may be a safe and effective therapeutic intervention for AD patients, associated with transfer of specific microbial species from the donors to the patients. Further studies are required to reconfirm these results.
- atopic dermatitis
- fecal microbial transplantation