BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuShigellosisShigella gastroenteritis; Shigella enteritis; Enteritis - shigella; Gastroenteritis - shigella; Traveler's diarrhea - shigellosisShigellosis is a bacterial infection of the lining of the intestines. It is caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. Causes There are several types of Shigella bacteria, including:Shigella sonnei, also called "group D" Shigella, is responsible for most cases of shigellosis in the United States. Shigella flexneri, or "group B" Shigella, causes almost all other cases. Shigella dysenteriae, or "group A" Shigella is rare in the United States. However, it can lead to deadly outbreaks in developing countries. People infected with the bacteria release it into their stool. They can spread the bacteria to water or food, or directly to another person. Getting just a little bit of the Shigella bacteria into your mouth is enough to cause infection.Outbreaks of shigellosis are linked with poor sanitation, contaminated food and water, and crowded living conditions.Shigellosis is common among travelers in developing countries and workers or residents in refugee camps.In the United States, the condition is most commonly seen in daycare centers and places where groups of people live, such as nursing homes. Symptoms Symptoms often develop about 1 to 7 days (average 3 days) after coming into contact with the bacteria.Symptoms include:Acute (sudden) abdominal pain or cramping Abdominal painAbdominal pain is pain that you feel anywhere between your chest and groin. This is often referred to as the stomach region or belly.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Acute fever Blood, mucus, or pus in the stool Blood, mucus, or pus in the stoolBlack or tarry stools with a foul smell are a sign of a problem in the upper digestive tract. It most often indicates that there is bleeding in the ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Crampy rectal pain Nausea and vomiting Watery and bloody diarrhea Exams and Tests If you have symptoms of shigellosis, your health care provider will check for:Dehydration (not enough fluids in your body) with a fast heart rate and low blood pressure Abdominal tenderness Elevated level of white blood cells in the blood Stool culture to check for the presence of the bacteriaStool cultureA fecal culture is a lab test to find organisms in the stool (feces) that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms and disease.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment The goal of treatment is to replace fluids and electrolytes (salt and minerals) that are lost in diarrhea.ElectrolytesElectrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. Electrolytes affect how your body functions in many ways...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Medicines that stop diarrhea are generally not given because they can cause the infection to take longer to go away.Self-care measures to avoid dehydration include drinking electrolyte solutions to replace the fluids lost by diarrhea. Several types of electrolyte solutions are available over-the-counter (without a prescription).DehydrationDehydration occurs when your body does not have as much water and fluids as it needs. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on how much...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Antibiotics can help shorten the length of the illness. These medicines also help prevent the illness from spreading to others in group living or daycare settings. They may also be prescribed for people with severe symptoms.If you have diarrhea and cannot drink fluids by mouth because of severe nausea, you may need medical care and intravenous (IV) fluids. This is more common in small children who have shigellosis.IntravenousIntravenous means "within a vein. " Most often it refers to giving medicines or fluids through a needle or tube inserted into a vein. This allows th...Read Article Now Book Mark Article People who take diuretics ("water pills") may need to stop taking these medicines if they have acute Shigella enteritis. Never stop taking any medicine without first talking to your provider.AcuteAcute means sudden or severe. Acute symptoms appear, change, or worsen rapidly. It is the opposite of chronic.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Outlook (Prognosis) The infection can be mild and goes away on its own. Most people, except malnourished children and those with weakened immune systems, typically recover fully. Possible Complications Complications may include: Dehydration, severe Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure with anemia and clotting problems Hemolytic-uremic syndromeShiga-like toxin producing E coli hemolytic-uremic syndrome (STEC-HUS) is a disorder that most often occurs when an infection in the digestive system...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Reactive arthritisReactive arthritisReactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that follows an infection. It may also cause inflammation of the eyes, skin and urinary and genital system...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article About 1 in 10 children (under age 15) with severe Shigella enteritis develop nervous system problems. These may include febrile seizures (also called a "fever fit") when body temperature rises quickly and the child has seizures. A brain disease (encephalopathy) with headache, lethargy, confusion, and stiff neck can also develop.Febrile seizuresA febrile seizure is a convulsion in a child triggered by a fever.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article LethargyFatigue is a feeling of weariness, tiredness, or lack of energy.Read Article Now Book Mark Article ConfusionConfusion is the inability to think as clearly or quickly as you normally do. You may feel disoriented and have difficulty paying attention, remembe...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider if diarrhea does not improve, if there is blood in the stool, or if there are signs of dehydration.Go to the emergency room if these symptoms occur in a person with shigellosis:Confusion Headache with stiff neck Lethargy SeizuresThese symptoms are most common in children. Prevention Prevention includes properly handling, storing, and preparing food, and good personal hygiene. Handwashing is the most effective way to prevent shigellosis. Avoid food and water that may be contaminated.Open ReferencesReferencesMelia JMP, Sears CL. Infectious enteritis and proctocolitis. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 110.Keusch GT, Zaidi AKM. Shigellosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 293.Kotloff KL. Acute gastroenteritis in children. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 366.Kotloff KL, Riddle MS, Platts-Mills JA, Pavlinac P, Zaidi AKM. Shigellosis. Lancet. 2018;391(10122):801-812. PMID: 29254859 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29254859/.AllVideoImagesTogDigestive system - illustration The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.Digestive systemillustrationDigestive system organs - illustration The digestive system organs in the abdominal cavity include the liver, gallbladder, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.Digestive system organsillustrationBacteria - illustration Bacterial infections can lead to the formation of pus, or to the spread of the bacteria in the blood.BacteriaillustrationDigestive system - illustration The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.Digestive systemillustrationDigestive system organs - illustration The digestive system organs in the abdominal cavity include the liver, gallbladder, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.Digestive system organsillustrationBacteria - illustration Bacterial infections can lead to the formation of pus, or to the spread of the bacteria in the blood.BacteriaillustrationRelated Information Acute(Special Topic)Febrile seizures(Condition)Fatigue(Symptoms)Confusion(Symptoms)Meningitis(Condition) Review Date: 3/10/2022 Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.