A/Prof David van der Poorten
Dr Roslyn Vongsuvanh
  Prof Golo Ahlenstiel
Dr Way Siow

Appointments & Enquiries:  (02) 8711 0160

SMH2Current Research


Faecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) for recurrent or severe Clostridium Difficile infection


Clostridium Difficile infection is a cause of diarrhoea that can be both serious and difficult to eradicate. The infection often occurs after antibiotics have reduced the richness of normal bowel flora, or it can be transmitted from an infected individual by faecal/oral route. Over the last 10 years Clostridium Difficile infection in Australia has increased almost 10-fold, with almost 20% of cases resistant to standard antibiotics used for its treatment. Severe Clostridium Difficile Colitis is a very serious condition that has a high mortality and may require surgical removal of the bowel.


Faecal Microbiota Transplant has been shown to be highly effective for both recurrent and severe Clostridium Difficile infection by replacing and renewing the richness of colonic flora. The procedure involves infusing faeces into the patients large bowel at Colonoscopy from a fully screened anonymous donor.


The bacteria and gut flora within the faeces then colonise the patients bowel

and generally within a day or two diarrhoea resolves.


A/Prof David van der Poorten is the lead investigator on this study at Westmead Hospital and Prof Golo Ahlenstiel and Dr Way Siow are associate investigators. The study is being performed in conjunction with the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Laboratory Services, at Pathology West. The study is ONLY investigating the role of FMT in Clostridium Difficile infection, and not for any other indication.




FMT for web 4BC



Association between Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and colorectal neoplasia (bowel polyps and cancer)


It has been established for some time that obesity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders increase the risk of colorectal cancer and advanced bowel polyps (adenomas). More recently, patients with Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and particularly those with Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) were shown to have an increased risk of advanced bowel polyps, but the extent of this risk and the need for screening guidelines in NAFLD is yet to be established.


Dr David van der Poorten and Dr Way Siow are investigating this link by recruiting all eligible patients referred for a screening colonoscopy at Westmead hospital and HSS. As part of the study patients will have a fibroscan and body fat analysis on the day of colonoscopy in addition to fasting blood tests and stool analysis. These results will be compared with colonoscopy findings, particularly polyp numbers, type and size. Patients will be given detailed results of all their investigations and appropriate follow up if any liver abnormalities are detected.