• Gerald T. Keusch
  • Michael L. Bennish


Shigellosis, an acute infectious enteritis of humans and on occasion subhuman primates, is often referred to as bacillary dysentery. The reason is that dysentery, a syndrome manifested by frequent passage of small-volume, bloody mucoid stools, abdominal cramps, and tenesmus, is widely considered to be the principal clinical presentation of the infection.(87) However, watery diarrhea without blood or mucus is common in all forms of shigellosis and may be the only intestinal sign of infection. (2,55) In addition, there are a myriad of manifestations described in shigellosis, some common and some rare, that without doubt qualify the organism as a protean pathogen. (10,114) The objective of this chapter is to present the salient features of shigellosis in sufficient detail to understand the spectrum of the disease and its distinctive epidemiology.


Diarrheal Disease Shiga Toxin Shigella Flexneri Shigella Dysenteriae Somatic Antigen 
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12. Suggested Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald T. Keusch
    • 1
  • Michael L. Bennish
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious DiseasesNew England Medical Center HospitalsBostonUSA
  2. 2.International Centre for Diarrhhoeal Disease Research—BangladeshOhakaBangladesh
  3. 3.Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious DiseasesNew England Medical Center HospitalsBostonUSA

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