Multi-disciplinary expert team! Well-established network in the Greater Bay Area! Disruptive Innovation!
Utilising the gut microbiome to treat disease.
How do we do it?
Your Digestive System
Your digestive system, or gut, has millions of tiny living organisms and bacteria within it called your gut microbiota.
When there is 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.
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.
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.
Our team is a pioneer fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) research in Asia-Pacific.
From Bench to Bedside
We have established Asia’s First Microbiota Transplantation(FMT) & Research Centre in 2015 to advance knowledge and practice of FMT and yo train young researchers.
Empowered with a multi-disciplinary team of scientists, microbiologists, gastroenterologists, pathologists, biologists and bioinformaticians, ours FMT stool bank aims to deliver safe and efficient FMT for service and research.
We focus on research investigating the role of FMT in inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, graft versus host disease, multidrug-resistant infections, and recurrent clostridiodes difficile infections.
Our team has led the “Frontiers in Intestinal microbiota transplant”, endorsed by the Asia-Pacific Association of Gastroenterology (APAGE) and Asia-Pacific Society for Digestive Endoscopy (APSDE), with 14 experts from 7 countries in Asia Pacific to define future directions of FMT.
We have established the first and most comprehensive longitudinal FMT Registry in Asia – the Asia-Pacific FMT registry, to monitor the long-term safety of FMT.
Our team has identified bacteria, virome and fungi composition within FMT that can aid the development of personalized gut microbiota-based therapy.
To date, we are the only provider of FMT service to the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong.
Let's have a look...
What is Clostridium difficile?
Clostridioides difficile is a bacterium that can cause intestinal infection sometimes leading to severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fever. Unfortunately some patients do not respond to standard treatments (antibiotics) or have recurring infections
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 may not work for everyone and it can recur, faecal microbiota transplants can successfully cure recurrent C. difficile in 70–90% of people!
What is Faecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT)?
Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), also known as a stool transplant, involves a process that transfers gut microbes from a healthy human donor to a recipient (usually with a disease), to help restore the perturbed gut microbiome.
The goal of FMT is the restoration of the gut microflora disrupted due to various reasons commonly caused by disease, diet, drugs, or antibiotics. Introducing (or re-introducing) healthy flora via various means of infusion of a healthy individual’s stool can help maintain health and cure diseases.
FMT is a recommended therapy for life-threatening conditions-recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (rCDIs) and is being investigated as a potential therapy for dozens of microbiota-mediated indications, including inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), obesity, and autoimmune diseases.
It is also notable that FMT for rCDIs is significantly more effective, with a cure rate that triples that of conventional treatment.
Transforming Rigorous Scientific Insights into Disruptive Treatments
What is a Stool Bank?
Safety, optimization, and viability preservation are the three key elements of our Stool Bank.
Our donors are required to undergo rigorous assessment and investigations by an integrated team of microbiologists, gastroenterologists, and pathologists to ensure their stools are suitable and safe for microbiota transplantation.
The health requirements on stool donors are stricter than those for blood or organ donors.
The process of manufacture, the facility, the stringent environmental monitoring and decontamination procedures, and documentation follow international standards to ensure the integrity and safety of the stool filtrate for FMT are maintained.
To date, our facility has supported over 500 FMT. Not only have we saved numerous patients with life-threatening gastrointestinal diseases using this approach, but it has also advanced our knowledge of this new treatment option.
FMT solution preparation
Preparation of FMT solution involves several steps:
1. Screening of donors to rule out infectious, gastrointestinal, immune and metabolic diseases with questionnaires.
2. Donors will have blood and stool tests to confirm they have no infections or other diseases.
3. Stool will be collected and processed.
4. Sample will be filtered to get rid of residues, and ready for transplantation.
Safety is our Priority –
Stringent Screening for Every Donor and Rigorous Quality Control for the Processing of FMT solution
Who can be a microbiota donor?
To be a donor, you must be in Hong Kong and be available to donate at our Centre either at the Prince of Wales Hospital on the HK Science and Technology Park.
FMT 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 are pretty special: one of the handful of unique, life-giving microbiota donors in Hong Kong.
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.
How to donate?
Donating takes place at a private, single-purpose area at our center.
The donation toilet is a private, well-ventilated, soundproof, cosy room that is thoroughly cleaned to pristine condition after every visit. It is 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 are 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 are 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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How are quality control and product safety performed?
Our standard operation procedures (SOP) contain a full description of our donor screening and quality procedures.
How do I confirm that the samples have been tested for pathogens of interest?
Donors undergo a series of stool-based and serological assays by a third-party certified testing facilities (e.g. HOKLAS/NATA accredited laboratory) to assess for infectious pathogens, including multi-drug resistant organisms such as ESBL, and general health metrics.
Does MagIC Stool Bank screen FMT preparation for SARS-CoV-2?
We have implemented screening protocols to mitigate the risk of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 through FMT material. Every stool sample provided by donors will be directly tested for SARS-CoV-2 based on a locally developed and validated stool PCR test (Reference; Siew Ng, Francis Chan, Paul Chan Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2021).
Can FMT material be used to treat IBS, diabetes, obesity or other diseases?
Only in the setting of a clinical study.
Does the stool need to come from a family member or someone I know?
No. Clinical studies have shown that FMT from anonymous, unrelated donors are as effective as FMT from blood relatives or “known” donors.
Where does the material come from? What screens do the donors undergo?
Our FMT material preparations are collected from healthy donors who have passed a health screening including a 200-point clinical questionnaire, blood and stool screens. Our donors are also continuously monitored and rescreened periodically.
How is stool processed into an FMT preparation?
Stool from rigorously screened donors is processed into FMT treatments and our Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) follow a carefully validated set of SOP to ensure consistent quality production.