Mark G. Bartlett, M.D., is a pediatric gastroenterologist who studies Clostridium difficile infections in children and novel ways to treat the infections, including fecal microbial transplant. A current clinical study is comparing the efficacy of fresh versus frozen donor stool for eradication of Clostridium difficile.
Dr. Bartlett is also collaborating in research with the adult pancreatitis group in a multisite study of the role of prostaglandins in chronic pancreatitis and the possible use of aspirin for halting the progression of this disease in children.
- Fecal microbial transplant. Dr. Bartlett is conducting a prospective study to evaluate children between 1 and 18 years old undergoing fecal transplant to eradicate recurrent Clostridium difficile infections. The specific aim is to see if frozen stool from anonymous screened donors can be equally as effective as fresh stool from parents. Dr. Bartlett is also using inflammatory markers such as lactoferrin, alpha-1-antitrypsin and calprotectin to better identify which children will most benefit from fecal microbial transplant. A focus of his study has been to better characterize the success of fecal transplant in immunocompromised children and those with inflammatory bowel disease.
- Chronic pancreatitis. Dr. Bartlett is participating in a multisite investigation of the pathophysiology of inflammation and fibrosis in chronic pancreatitis, specifically looking at validating pancreatic juice prostaglandin E2 levels as a biomarker for this disease. An additional study will assess the potential for aspirin to suppress prostaglandin E2 in the pancreatic juice.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Bartlett is hopeful that his Fecal Microbial Transplant study will help to refine techniques for treating children with recurrent Clostridium difficile infections. Ideally, the process will continue to be simplified so that more children have access to this important therapy. Chronic pancreatitis is rare but devastating, and has no current treatment options other than pain medication. The current study is essential to the development of new therapies targeting pancreatic inflammation.