Microbiome

Helping in a new way

Know more about this life-changing program

Watch this video for an overview about how we're providing faecal microbiota for transplant (FMT).

 

What we're doing

Illustration of a dark-haired lady with a speech bubble pointing to her stomach
Your digestive system
Your digestive system, or gut, has millions of tiny living organisms and bacteria within it called your gut flora or gut microbiota.
Illustration of a female scientist holding up a magnifying glass
When it's a problem
If there are too many of the wrong types of micro-organisms in your gut, you can be very sick. This is where we come in.
Illustration of a light-haired lady standing next to a bottle of medicine
What we can do
The goal is to transfer good, healthy microbiota from a donor into someone whose current gut microbiota may be making them sick.
Illustration of a scientist standing to a test tube filled with nasties
What it involves
We collect poo from a healthy donor, process and test it, then give it to clinicians to treat disease or relieve symptoms in patients.

Let's take a closer look

What is recurrent C. difficile?

Recurrent C. difficile is a serious bacterial infection within the gut. It happens in some patients who’ve had treatment with antibiotics, and it’s pervasive, debilitating, and can even be fatal

Life with recurrent C. difficile infection is devastating. People with it often can’t work or do any physical activity, so they can’t live normal lives. Treating it with antibiotics doesn’t work well and it often comes back. However, faecal microbiota transplants successfully treat recurrent C. difficile in 70–90% of people! 

In 2018, around 2,700 people across Australia could have benefited from FMT for C. difficile. This life-changing statistic is one reason why Lifeblood believes it’s worth trialling how to get more of this effective treatment safely to patients. 

How is Lifeblood helping?

We’ll provide Fiona Stanley and Fremantle hospitals in Perth, Western Australia with a reliable supply of faecal microbiota for transplant (FMT) to treat patients suffering from life-threatening recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection, or recurrent C. difficile.  

We also aim to partner with researchers, supplying a portion of the donations we collect to those studying whether FMT could be used to treat other conditions like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and even depression. There are plenty of studies currently happening in this space.

Why is Lifeblood helping? 

Initiatives like this are part of how we support all Australians through vital, life-giving biological products. We already have expertise in supplying donated biological products from our blood and milk services, so this is a natural step to help us save even more lives. 

 

Illustration of scientists

Your donation guide

Who can be a microbiota donor?

To be a donor, you must be in the Perth, Western Australia metropolitan area and be available to donate at our Perth Processing Centre in the CBD.  

Just like our other donors, microbiota donors need to be screened to make sure that their donation is safe for the person receiving it. So, you’ll need to meet health and testing requirements too.  

The screening requirements for donors are extremely thorough for patient safety, which means a lot of people don’t make it to donating, even if they’re generally healthy. So, if you do, you're pretty special: one of the handful of unique, life-giving microbiota donors in Australia. 

Check that you can donate

Start by taking a quick quiz to check your eligibility. If you're eligible, you can register your interest. 

Once that’s done, you'll get a call from a friendly and discreet staff member with some confirmation questions. They'll book you in for an appointment for the final stage of screening. You’re able to schedule in a time beforehand that aligns with your body's own schedule and ensures your privacy.  

At every stage of the process, any personal and confidential information we gather from you is covered by privacy laws and our Lifeblood privacy policies, where you can download the privacy policy and consent form to review beforehand.

How to donate

Donating takes place at a private, single-purpose area at Lifeblood’s Perth Processing Centre.

The donation toilet is a private, well-ventilated, soundproof, cosy room that is thoroughly cleaned to pristine condition after every visit. It’s not like a public toilet; this is as private and as hygienic as a toilet can get! 

After a quick interview to make sure you’re OK to donate, you'll be given a donation kit and plenty of time to relax in a private sitting area to let nature take its course. Once you’re finished, one of our coordinators will collect the donation kit and you'll be on your way, knowing you've done something good for the day. 

I want to be a donor

Great! To be a donor, you must be in the Perth metro area and meet health, availability and testing requirements.

Check your eligibility
I’m a clinician, physician or researcher

Find out more about accessing Lifeblood faecal microbiota for transplant, for your patients or research. Call 1300 441 227 or email us.

Send an email
I have a medical condition and would this treatment help? How do I access it?

For this trial we’re providing a set amount of treatments only for patients with recurrent C. difficile at Fiona Stanley and Fremantle hospitals in Perth. If that’s you, talk to your doctor about being involved in the trial.