Fecal Transplants by Colonoscopy and Capsules Are Cost-Effective Strategies for Treating Recurrent Clostridioides difficile Infection



Recurrent Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs) occur frequently and pose a substantial economic burden on the US healthcare system. The landscape for the treatment of CDI is evolving.


To elucidate the most cost-effective strategy for managing recurrent CDI.


A decision tree analysis was created from a modified third-party payer’s perspective to compare the cost-effectiveness of five strategies for patients experiencing their first CDI recurrence: oral vancomycin, fidaxomicin, fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) via colonoscopy, FMT via oral capsules, and a one-time infusion of bezlotoxumab with vancomycin. Effectiveness measures were quality-adjusted life years (QALY). A willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold of $100,000 per QALY was set. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.


Base-case analysis showed that FMT via colonoscopy was associated with the lowest cost at $5250 and that FMT via capsules was also a cost-effective strategy with an incremental cost–effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $31205/QALY. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated that FMT delivered by oral capsules and colonoscopy was comparable cost-effective modalities. At its current cost and effectiveness, bezlotoxumab was not a cost-effective strategy.


FMT via oral capsules and colonoscopy is both cost-effective strategies to treat the first recurrence of CDI. Further real-world economic studies are needed to understand the cost-effectiveness of all available strategies.

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AMG serves as the guarantor of the article. All authors contributed to the inception, design, and research of the study. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Yuying Luo.

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Ari M. Grinspan has received lecture fees and honorarium from Merck.

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Luo, Y., Lucas, A.L. & Grinspan, A.M. Fecal Transplants by Colonoscopy and Capsules Are Cost-Effective Strategies for Treating Recurrent Clostridioides difficile Infection. Dig Dis Sci 65, 1125–1133 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10620-019-05821-1

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  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Recurrent Clostridioides difficile infections
  • Fecal microbiota transplants
  • Bezlotoxumab