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P743 What information is available on the internet and social media for faecal microbiota transplantation?

Segal J.1, Abbasi F.*2, Kanagasundram C.3, Hart A.1

1St Mark's Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology, Harrow, United Kingdom 2Lister Hospital, Stevenage, United Kingdom 3Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gastroenterology, Cambridge, United Kingdom


The use of the internet has become an increasingly popular resource for medical information. Various investigators have critically evaluated the websites and the patient-oriented medical information on internet in the past and found them scientifically inaccurate and incomplete [3–7]. Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has changed the treatment of Clostridium difficile with cure rates of 81% following one infusion of FMT [1], further studies have since validated these findings [8]. The National Institute of Health and Care excellence recommended the use of FMT for recurrent C. difficile as studies have shown it to be over 90% effective in achieving remission [1,5]. It is not known in the UK the uptake and utilisation of this treatment and how readily available it is. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has now classified FMT as a medicine [2] and hence should be only utilised in strict clinical settings


We searched Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube using the words “Faecal Microbiota Transplantation” and “FMT”. A sub search using the term “FMT clinics” was also searched in Google We then categories the results into: education material by medical professions, information from generic hospital and clinic information, Information from scientific journals or books, Communication between healthcare professionals to patients, Education material by another group, charity, support group, news article, self-administration group and medical professional clinic. We utilised the first 50 hits on each site. We analysed the percentage of articles that fell outside regulated medical practice.


Google, YouTube, and Facebook had a variety of information regarding FMT available. Nine out of fifty (18%) of the top 50 google searches can be considered articles that fall outside regulated practice. YouTube highlighted four videos describing how to self-administer FMT, one of these was for the treatment ulcerative colitis. Fourteen percent of the top fifty YouTube videos fall outside regulated practice and 8% of the top 50 Facebook searches falling outside regulated clinical practice. A Search for “FMT clinics” found 48 of the top 50 advertising to clinics within the UK, both advertising FMT outside regulated practice. One of these clinics advertise FMT treatment for a variety of conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons disease, all of which so far have limited data on efficacy and safety.


Clinicians and patients need to be aware of the resources available through social media and the internet. It should be appreciated that some websites fall outside regulated clinical practice. Private clinics offering FMT need to ensure that they are offering FMT within a regulated framework.