Authored by: K.R. Schneider , M.K. Fatica , K.A. Lampel , B.R. Warren

Manual of Security Sensitive Microbes and Toxins

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553965
eBook ISBN: 9781466553989
Adobe ISBN:


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Shigella spp. are the causative agent of shigellosis or “bacillary dysentery” and have been implicated in many worldwide foodborne outbreaks. In the United States, it is estimated that these pathogens cause over 400,000 cases of illness, 5,400 hospitalizations, and 38 deaths each year [1]. Humans have been the only identified hosts of this pathogen, although higher primates in close proximity to humans have also been infected. Transmission occurs via the fecal–oral route, with a common route in foods prepared by an infected food handler who practices poor personal hygiene. Shigellosis outbreaks usually involve large numbers of individuals due to its low infectious dose and ease of spreading through populations. In some cases, outbreaks can linger due to the carriers of Shigella [2]. Shigella carriers asymptomatically harbor the pathogen. In an area of Bangladesh with endemic shigellosis, a study of young children under the age of 5 years was performed where 249 ill children without diarrheal symptoms and 699 healthy children were screened for Shigella; 6.4% of the ill children and 2.1% of the healthy group were positive carriers of Shigella [3].

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