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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1996 Apr;90(2):105-14.

Shigella infections.

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Centre for Tropical Medical Microbiology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, U.K.


Shigella dysentery is a major public-health problem in many tropical areas. Despite improvements in water supplies and sanitation, it continues to be a disease of poor rural and urban communities and in populations affected by migration and crowding following disasters. Pathogenesis is due to colonic invasion, endotoxin, and, in Shigella dysenteriae 1, shiga toxin. As well as the local manifestations of dysentery, systemic complications include convulsions, haemolytic-uraemic syndrome, hyponatraemia and hypoglycaemia. The spread of shigella infection is most commonly person-person, although water and food-borne outbreaks have been reported. Since 1970, multiple antimicrobial resistance, particularly in Sh. dysenteriae 1, has complicated strategies for management. Multiply resistant strains have occurred in Latin America, Central Africa and southern and south-eastern Asia. No vaccines are currently available, and prevention and control will depend on public-health improvements and improved case management.

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