Shigella Flexneri Research Paper

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In 1897, a Japanese physician and bacteriologist named Kiyoshi Shiga isolated a gram negative, unencapsulated, non-motile, non-spore-forming, facultative anaerobic bacilli bacteria known to cause bacillary dysentery (shigellosis) in humans and other primates (Longe 3378). This bacterium, Shigella dysenteriae, named for the man who discovered it, is one of four serogroups of the Shigella species, and is known to be found worldwide. Of the other three serogroups, Shigella sonnei is known to cause about 70% of the reported cases of shigellosis in the United States and other developed countries. In developing countries, Shigella flexneri is the most widespread. Shigella boydii is the most genetically diverse of the Shigella species, with some subgroups…show more content…
Infants, small children, and those with a weakened immune system may have prolonged or more severe cases of shigellosis. Those infected by Shigella usually remain contagious for up to two weeks after symptoms abate (Cheney). The main treatment for shigellosis involves the management of its symptoms, especially when dehydration occurs. Antibiotics are available for use in more severe cases of Shigella infection, though many strains have developed resistance to these treatments. In the United States, resistance to ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is common among shigellae. Resistance to antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin is less common in the United States, making this a typical first-line treatment for shigellosis (da…show more content…
Some studies using Shigella ribosomal subunit vaccines (SRV) parenterally administered to guinea pigs and monkeys have shown success in eliciting immunity against the infection in these animals. The results indicate that SRV may prove to be a safe, effective, and inexpensive future vaccine against shigellosis (Shim, et al). Until that day, the best way to combat shigellosis is prevention. Good hygiene, including proper hand washing techniques, is essential to limiting contamination. Helping young children with hand washing, and disinfecting areas contaminated by feces will also decrease the potential for spreading the bacteria. It is recommended that fruits and vegetables be thoroughly washed, and that safe food preparation techniques be observed to help limit ingestion of contaminated food items (“Shigella - shigellosis”).

Although there is no vaccine for shigellosis, there is a silver lining for those unfortunate enough the contract the disease: as symptoms abate, the infected can remain fairly secure in the fact that they will have immunity against that particular strain for up to several years after the infection. Unfortunately, this immunity does not protect them from other strains of the bacteria, making strict adherence to hygiene guidelines essential in preventing future outbreaks
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