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PhD defence: Simon Mark Dahl Baunwall

Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a highly effective treatment for debiliating diarrhea caused by Clostrioides difficile infection

Info about event


Thursday 1 June 2023,  at 14:00 - 16:00


Auditorium A (Entrance G, Room G206-145), Aarhus University Hospital

On Thursday 1 June at 14.00, Simon Mark Dahl Baunwall defends his PhD disseration entitled "Optimised use of faecal microbiota transplantation for Clostridioides difficile infection".

Clostridioides difficile infection is a serious a health threat, affecting 700,000 patients annually in Europe and the United States. The infection, typically a consequence of antibiotics use, has an excess in mortality, particularly among older, frail patients. The symptoms range from diarrhea to toxic megacolon. The recuring nature of the infection and often insufficient response to the standard care antibiotics underscores the need for better treatment strategies.

Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), that involves transfer of minimally manipulated intestinal microbiota from a thoroughly screened, healthy donor to a patient, is a novel microbiota-based treatment that aims to repair the disrupted microbiota. Previous clinical trials have demonstrated FMT is effective for patients who have suffered multiple episodes of C. difficile infection. However, despite this potential, FMT has not yet been adopted to mainstream due to practical and scientific barriers.

The objective of this project was to address these barriers, with the aim to make the FMT accessible to the patients who needs it. It was found that less than 10% of the patients with indication for FMT receives it in Europe despite high quality evidence backing its use. This highlights a significant gap with a great need for improvement.

The research explores how to optimise the use with practical implementation of improved delivery methods and factors influencing the clinical outcomes. Notably, the project also explores the earlier use of FMT in the treatment pathway for all patients with C. difficile infection, regardless of number of episodes. The findings demonstrate that FMT, when used as an add-on to the current antibiotics, is highly effective and superior to the current standard antibiotics alone, advocating for an earlier use of FMT.

The summary is written by the PhD student.

The defence is public and takes place in Auditorium A (Entrance G, Room G206-145), Aarhus University Hospital. Please see the press release for more information. 


PhD student Simon Mark Dahl Baunwall
Mail: ​​​​​​Simjor@rm.dk 
Phone: +45 22318017

Read press release