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Does the internet promote the unregulated use of faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). A potential public health issue?

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Title: Does the internet promote the unregulated use of faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). A potential public health issue?
Authors: Segal, J
Abbasi, F
Kanagasundaram, C
Hart, A
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Introduction: The Internet has become an increasingly popular resource for medical information. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has changed the treatment of Clostridium difficile with cure rates of 81% following one infusion of FMT, further studies have since validated these findings. The Medicines and Health care Products Regulatory Agency has classified FMT as a medicine and hence should be only utilized in strict clinical settings. Methods: We searched Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube using the words “Faecal Microbiota Transplantation” and “FMT”. We utilized the first 50 hits on each site. We analyzed the percentage of articles that fell outside regulated medical practice. We searched how many clinics in the UK advertised practice that falls outside suggested guidelines. Results: Google, YouTube, and Facebook had a variety of information regarding FMT available. Nine out of 50 (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 ulcerative colitis. Fourteen percent of the top 50 YouTube videos fall outside regulated practice and 8% of the top 50 Facebook searches fall outside regulated clinical practice. There were two clinics in the UK advertising FMT for uses that fall outside regulated practice. Conclusion: 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.
Issue Date: 1-May-2018
Date of Acceptance: 11-Feb-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/56929
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CEG.S159609
ISSN: 1178-7023
Publisher: Dove Medical Press
Start Page: 179
End Page: 183
Journal / Book Title: Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology
Volume: 11
Copyright Statement: © 2018 Segal et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms. php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Gastroenterology & Hepatology
fecal microbiota transplantation
social media
1103 Clinical Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Department of Surgery and Cancer