Hale, Thomas Larry Department of Enteric Infections, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:January 2016
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A highly contagious intestinal disease, also known as shigellosis, caused by rod-shaped bacteria of the genus Shigella. Bacillary dysentery, which also is referred to as shigellosis, is a significant infection of children in the developing world, where it is transmitted by the fecal–oral route. The global disease burden is estimated as 165 million episodes and 1.3 million deaths annually. Common-source outbreaks occasionally occur in developed countries, usually as a result of contaminated food. The most common species isolated in developed countries is Shigella sonnei, whereas S. flexneri serotypes predominate in endemic areas. Epidemics of S. dysenteriae 1 occur in equatorial regions, and these outbreaks can involve adults as well as children. See also: Bacteria; Bacteriology; Food microbiology; Food poisoning; Food science; Medical bacteriology; Public health
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