The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert this week informing health care providers and patients of the potential risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus by the use of fecal microbiota for transplantation (FMT) and that FDA has determined that additional safety protections are needed.
Several recent studies have documented the presence of SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA) and/or SARS-CoV-2 virus in stool of infected individuals. This information suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may be transmitted by FMT, although the risk of such transmission is unknown. At this time, testing nasopharyngeal specimens from stool donors for SARS-CoV-2 may not be widely available. Furthermore, there is limited information on the availability and sensitivity of direct testing of stool for SARS-CoV-2.
- Donor screening with questions directed at identifying donors who may be currently or recently infected with SARS-CoV-2.
- Testing donors and/or donor stool for SARS-CoV-2, as feasible.
- Development of criteria for exclusion of donors and donor stool based on screening and testing.
- Informed consent that includes information about the potential for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via FMT, including FMT prepared from stool from donors who are asymptomatic for COVID-19.
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