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Shigellosis

An infection with the bacterium Shigella, which usually causes a high fever, acute diarrhea, and dehydration.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

About Shigellosis

Shigellosis is a diarrheal disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella.Shigella causes about 500,000 cases of diarrhea in the United States annually.

What are the symptoms of Shigella?

Symptoms of shigellosis typically start 1—2 days after exposure and include:

  • Diarrhea (sometimes bloody)
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Tenesmus (a painful sensation of needing to pass stools even when bowels are empty)...Read more about Shigellosis

CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Antibiotic therapy for Shigella dysentery

Shigellosis is a bacterial infection of the colon that can cause diarrhoea, dysentery (diarrhoea with blood and/or mucus) and may lead to death. It occurs mainly in low‐ and middle‐income countries where overcrowding and poor sanitation exist, and may lead to around 1.1 million deaths per year globally, mostly in children under five years.

Antibiotics for the treatment of dysentery in children

The authors concluded that there was strong evidence in favour of the continued use of the antibiotics ciprofloxacin, ceftriaxone and pivmecillinam (as recommended by the World Health Organization) to reduce morbidity and mortality in children with dysentery. The review had some methodological problems, but the authors' conclusions were based on the evidence and appear reasonable.

Diarrhoea and Vomiting Caused by Gastroenteritis: Diagnosis, Assessment and Management in Children Younger than 5 Years

When young children suddenly experience the onset of diarrhoea, with or without vomiting, infective gastroenteritis is by far the most common explanation. A range of enteric viruses, bacteria and protozoal pathogens may be responsible. Viral infections account for most cases in the developed world. Gastroenteritis is very common, with many infants and young children experiencing more than one episode in a year.

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Summaries for consumers

Antibiotic therapy for Shigella dysentery

Shigellosis is a bacterial infection of the colon that can cause diarrhoea, dysentery (diarrhoea with blood and/or mucus) and may lead to death. It occurs mainly in low‐ and middle‐income countries where overcrowding and poor sanitation exist, and may lead to around 1.1 million deaths per year globally, mostly in children under five years.

More about Shigellosis

Photo of an adult

Also called: Bacillary dysentery, Shigella, Shigella dysentery

See Also: Amebiasis, Gastroenteritis

Other terms to know:
Diarrhea

Keep up with systematic reviews on Shigellosis:

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