Shigella

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S. boydii
S. dysenteriae
S. flexneri
S. sonnei

Shigella is a genus of Gram-negative, non-spore forming rod-shaped bacteria closely related to Escherichia coli and Salmonella. The causative agent of human shigellosis, Shigella causes disease in primates, but not in other mammals.[1] It is only naturally found in humans and apes.[2] During infection, it typically causes dysentery.[3] The genus is named after Kiyoshi Shiga, who first discovered it in 1898.

Contents

Classification

Shigella species are classified by four serogroups:

Group AC are physiologically similar; S. sonnei (group D) can be differentiated on the basis of biochemical metabolism assays.[4] Three Shigella groups are the major disease-causing species: S. flexneri is the most frequently isolated species worldwide and accounts for 60% of cases in the developing world; S. sonnei causes 77% of cases in the developed world, compared to only 15% of cases in the developing world; and S. dysenteriae is usually the cause of epidemics of dysentery, particularly in confined populations such as refugee camps.[5]

Pathogenesis

Shigella infection is typically via ingestion (fecal–oral contamination); depending on age and condition of the host as few as 100 bacterial cells can be enough to cause an infection.[6] Shigella causes dysentery that results in the destruction of the epithelial cells of the intestinal mucosa in the cecum and rectum. Some strains produce enterotoxin and Shiga toxin, similar to the verotoxin of E. coli O157:H7.[7] Both Shiga toxin and verotoxin are associated with causing hemolytic uremic syndrome.

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