DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Shigella infection (shigellosis) is an intestinal disease caused by a family of bacteria known as shigella. The main sign of shigella infection is diarrhea, which often is bloody.
Shigella can be passed through direct contact with the bacteria in the stool. For example, this can happen in a child care setting when staff members don't wash their hands well enough after changing diapers or helping toddlers with toilet training. Shigella bacteria also can be passed in contaminated food or by drinking or swimming in contaminated water.
Children between the ages of 2 and 4 are most likely to get shigella infection. A mild case usually clears up on its own within a week. When treatment is needed, doctors generally prescribe antibiotics.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed May 4, 2012.
- Bowen A, et al. The Yellow Book 2012: CDC health information for international travel. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2012/chapter-3-infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/shigellosis.htm. Accessed May 3, 2012.
- Long SS, et al. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Revised Reprint. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7020-3468-8..50153-X--cesec14&isbn=978-0-7020-3468-8&uniqId=332491740-5. Accessed May 4, 2012.
- Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed May 3, 2012.
- Shigellosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/shigellosis/. Accessed May 5, 2012.
- Kosek M, et al. Shigellosis update: Advancing antibiotic resistance, investment empowered vaccine development and green bananas. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases. 2010;23:475.
- Initiative for vaccine research. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/vaccine_research/diseases/diarrhoeal/en/index6.html#. Accessed May 3, 2012.