Written by: Solaris Diagnostics

Shigella is a type of bacteria that can cause a condition called shigellosis. It is A gram-negative bacterium that causes an infection called shigellosis that infects the lining of the intestines. It is transmitted through the fecal-oral route, It can also be spread through contact with a person who is infected or contracted from contaminated food prepared by an infected person or by drinking contaminated water from lakes.

Symptoms of shigellosis typically appear 1-2 days after exposure and can last for up to a week. In addition to diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever, other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and blood or mucus in the stool. In some cases, shigellosis can lead to more serious complications such as dehydration, seizures, and even death, particularly in young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

Prevention of shigellosis includes good hand hygiene, proper sanitation and disinfection of surfaces, and appropriate food handling. People should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before handling food.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were an estimated 500,000 cases of shigellosis in the United States in 2017. The World Health Organization (WHO) also reports that shigellosis is a significant public health concern worldwide, particularly in developing countries where access to clean water and sanitation is limited.

Diagnosis of shigellosis is typically made through stool testing. The most widely used test is the culture method, which involves growing the bacteria in a lab to identify the specific type of Shigella present. Alternatively, PCR or Polymerase Chain Reaction can be used to test. Which is fast and highly sensitive and can produce results within hours. Enabling Doctors to choose the right treatment for patients through quicker and more accurate diagnosis possible from our high-complexity, CAP-accredited laboratory.

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