The research program of Sahil Khanna, M.B.B.S., focuses on the epidemiology, risk factors and treatment of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). As the most common infection in hospitals, CDI is an urgent public health threat with high mortality and recurrence rates. With an epidemic of this infection seen in the community, there is an emergent need to study the epidemiology and novel risk factors.
Dr. Khanna leads Mayo Clinic's clinical and research program involving fecal microbiota transplantation for CDI, performs clinical trials for treatment of CDI, and studies the role of the gut microbiome in the management and outcomes of CDI.
- Epidemiology and outcomes of CDI. Dr. Khanna's research suggests that a significant proportion of CDI infections occur in the community, in contrast to the prevailing notion that CDI is primarily a hospital-acquired infection. His research team focuses on understanding the epidemiology, novel risk factors and outcomes associated with novel risk factors.
- Fecal microbiota transplantation. Fecal microbiota transplantation is an emerging therapy for CDI and is also being studied for other indications. Dr. Khanna's program focuses on evaluation of predictors of success and outcomes of fecal microbiota transplantation in patients with CDI.
- Clinical trials. Dr. Khanna carries out clinical trials for the treatment of CDI with antibiotics and microbiome restoration therapies including enema and capsule based therapies for treatment of recurrent CDI. These therapies are being studied as alternatives to conventional fecal microbiota transplantation.
- Microbiome research. Dr. Khanna is focused on evaluating the role of gut microbiota alterations in determining outcomes of CDI treatment, predicting response to initial antibiotic treatment and recurrence after successful treatment by studying bacterial composition in stool samples.
Significance to patient care
Managing the condition of patients who experience recurrent CDI with the currently available antibiotic treatments is challenging. Dr. Khanna's research program is exploring new treatments and hopes to improve the availability of novel therapies and the outcomes for patients with CDI.