Donate Deakin
Not currently recruiting


Study importance

Exciting new research convincingly demonstrates a link between the human gut bacteria (the “gut microbiota”) and mental health. An effective way of changing the human gut microbiota is through Human Microbiota Transfer Therapy (HMTT). This involves extracting the bacteria from the human gut of one individual and transferring it into another person. Evidence suggests that depression may be linked with unhealthy gut bacteria. Although HMTT is approved for use in Australia for other conditions, it is not yet approved to treat depression.

How this study was conducted

The Moving Moods Pilot Study trialled this new therapy in adults with moderate to severe Major Depressive Disorder. We recruited 15 people in the Geelong and Melbourne regions who were experiencing an episode of depression.

This project involved taking bacteria from the gut of a healthy donor and then transferring the bacteria into a person with depression. This was done via four micro-enemas. A micro-enema involves inserting the HMTT directly into the rectum, which is the lower part of the gut. As part of this research project, participants received either four HMTT micro-enemas or four placebo micro-enemas.

Study results

To find out more about the study results, click here to read our blog post, or click here to read the published article.

The Food & Mood Centre acknowledges the Wilson Foundation for their generous support of Moving Moods.

This project was led by Psychiatrist and PhD Candidate at Deakin University’s Food & Mood Centre, Dr Jessica Green. The study was conducted out of University Hospital Geelong.