Send to

Choose Destination
J Infect. 2012 Apr;64(4):374-86. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2012.01.006. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

The patient presenting with acute dysentery--a systematic review.

Author information

Medical School, University of Texas, 6431 Fannin, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



The etiologies, clinical presentations and diagnosis of acute pathogen-specific dysentery in children and adults in industrialized and developing regions is described to help develop recommendations for therapy.


We conducted a systematic review of literature published between January 2000 and June 2011 to determine the frequency of occurrence of pathogen-specific dysentery.


Shigella, Salmonella, and Campylobacter remain the most frequent bacterial causes of dysentery worldwide. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is potentially important in industrialized countries. Entamoeba histolytica must be considered in the developing world, particularly in rural or periurban areas. Clinicians should use epidemiological clues and knowledge of endemicity to suspect Vibrio spp., Aeromonas spp., Plesiomonas spp., Yersinia enterocolitica, Clostridium difficile, Cytomegalovirus or Schistosoma mansoni in cases presenting with dysentery. A single fecal sample studied for etiologic agents is the customary way to make an etiologic diagnosis.


While a majority of dysenteric cases will not have an identifiable agent causing the illness, when an etiologic organism is identified, other than STEC, each has a specific recommended form of therapy, which is provided in this review.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center