Microbial Restoration in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (MIRO) Study

Crohn’s disease is caused by our immune system reacting to the bacteria living in the gut. Current treatment involves suppressing the immune system to reduce inflammation; this is only effective for some patients and may be associated with long term side effects. 

The inflammatory bowel disease department at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne is conducting the Microbial Restoration in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (MIRO) study. The MIRO study takes a new approach to treating Crohn’s disease, namely changing the bacteria in the gut. This is achieved by transplanting bacteria from the gut of healthy people into the gut of patients with Crohn’s disease. Patients in this study also receive a one-week course of antibiotics, to open up a space for the healthy bacteria, and are advised to have a healthy diet. 

The faecal transplant is given either at the “top end” by gastroscopy or the “bottom end” by colonoscopy and enemas. Initially two thirds of patients get “active” faecal transplant and one third get placebo (“inactive”) treatment. Those who fail to improve on placebo, however, can then get active faecal transplant. Patients who improve after faecal transplant treatment can continue to receive treatment for 12 months. 

The study is “blinded” so that both patients and doctors do not know which treatment is being given during the first 8 weeks.  

Assessments are made along the way to assess whether the Crohn’s disease is improving.  These include surveys, blood tests, stool tests, ultrasound and colonoscopy. 

A dedicated expert team of Crohn’s disease specialists, dieticians, scientists and nurses provide “red carpet” care to patients throughout the study. 

The MIRO study offers a unique opportunity to patients with active Crohn’s disease to access this revolutionary treatment, at no cost, and under very careful conditions.   

The study will include patients until the middle of this year. Patients can make contact at [email protected].

Patients will require a medical referral.