FVT Transfer of modified gut viromes improves symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome in obese male mice (Jun 2024)

Fecal Virome Transplantation

Michael Harrop

Active member
Jul 6, 2023


Metabolic syndrome encompasses amongst other conditions like obesity and type-2 diabetes and is associated with gut microbiome (GM) dysbiosis. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been explored to treat metabolic syndrome by restoring the GM; however, concerns on accidentally transferring pathogenic microbes remain.

As a safer alternative, fecal virome transplantation (FVT, sterile-filtrated feces) has the advantage over FMT in that mainly bacteriophages are transferred. FVT from lean male donors have shown promise in alleviating the metabolic effects of high-fat diet in a preclinical mouse study. However, FVT still carries the risk of eukaryotic viral infections. To address this, recently developed methods are applied for removing or inactivating eukaryotic viruses in the viral component of FVT.

Modified FVTs are compared with unmodified FVT and saline in a diet-induced obesity model on male C57BL/6 N mice. Contrasted with obese control, mice administered a modified FVT (nearly depleted for eukaryotic viruses) exhibits enhanced blood glucose clearance but not weight loss. The unmodified FVT improves liver pathology and reduces the proportions of immune cells in the adipose tissue with a non-uniform response. GM analysis suggests that bacteriophage-mediated GM modulation influences outcomes.

Optimizing these approaches could lead to the development of safe bacteriophage-based therapies targeting metabolic syndrome through GM restoration.

In a previous thread it was mentioned that the FDA might be leaning towards phage products due to thinking they are safer than FMT. This study is an attempt to only use the phage component of feces to see if it can be safer and effective. It appears that it was safe but not as effective as FMT, which is the outcome I would expect.

We'll need to see more studies directly comparing this FVT method with FMT.
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