Shigella dysenteriae, also known as
Shingellosis, is a gram negative bacteria. S. dysenteriae is a rod shaped
bacterium that comes from the Shigella genus and is labeled as type 1. These
bacteria are non-sporing, non-motile, and survives as a facultative anaerobe (Shigella
Dysenteriae). There are four different species of Shigella and they include,
Shigella flexneri, Shigella, sonnei, Shigella boydii, and Shigella dysenteriae
(Shigella, 2017). Of all four types, dysenteriae causes the most serious
illness in the infected person. Shigella dysenteriae is typically found in
humans but can also be seen in primates, and is seen a digestive tract
infection (Shigella Infection).
S. dysenteriae is a bacterium that
is found in the stool of an infected person and/or in tainted water supplies.
This bacterium is easily spreadable because of the fact that becoming infected
requires a person to come in contact with very small amounts of the bacteria; in
some cases, as little as 10 cells can cause disease (Shigella Dysenteriae). Shigella
dysenteriae is also easy to be infected with due to the fact that once the
bacterium has found a host, the bacterium can enter the GI tract without being
harmed by the gastric acids due to the organism being very acid tolerant (Shigella
Dysenteriae). These bacteria is able to be spread through both direct and
indirect contact with infected people through touch, contaminated surfaces, or
ingesting contaminated food and drink. Shigella dysenteriae is able to live on
surfaces anywhere from one day to seven weeks. Because of its ability to live
outside the host for long periods of time, many people get sick from touching
these infected surfaces and then touching their mouth, food, or drink. S.
dysenteriae can also be spread by close, personal touch where a person may come
into contact with small amounts of infected fecal matter from an ill person (Shigella
S. dysenteriae is often seen in
developing countries, with around 500,000+ cases per year. In the US, however,
there are around 300,000 cases annually. Shigella dysenteriae causes around
20,000 deaths per year, typically in those developing countries, which have
little defense against the bacteria (Shigella Dysenteriae). Because of the
bacteria being seen more often in developing countries, those who travel are at
a higher risk of contracting Shigella dysenteriae. Shigella is also seen in areas of poor sanitization.
Children who are exposed to a daycare setting or school have an increased risk
of contracting the bacteria. Elderly are also at a heightened risk of becoming ill
from Shigella dysenteriae. Because of the bacteria being transferred from anal
to oral, men who have sex with other men are at risk of becoming ill with these
bacteria if they come into contact with an infected person (Shigella, 2017).
Once infected with S. dysenteriae,
it takes anywhere from 1-3 days for the symptoms to begin (Shigella Dysenteriae).
Some people who are infected may show no signs while others may show many.
There is typically mild to severe diarrhea involved when a person is ill with
Shingellosis. This diarrhea may have some blood in it or may be very watery.
Vomiting and abdominal cramping is also a symptom of Shingellosis. When there
are suspicions that a person is infected with Shigella dysenteriae, fecal tests
are sent to a lab (Shigella Dysenteriae).
Typically, treatment for Shigella
dysenteriae requires lots of fluids and just letting the bacteria to pass
through your system in about 1-2 weeks with the help of your body’s defenses.
Because antibiotic resistance is on the rise, treating the bacteria with
antibiotics is only used when cases are severe. Antibiotics used include
Ampicillin and Ciprofloxacin (Shigella Dysenteriae). Preventing Shigella dysenteriae
infections is important. There is no vaccine against the bacterium but washing
hands after restroom use, handling food and drink properly, and keeping water
supplies clean all help to prevent sickness. When travelling, using the phrase “cook
it, peel it, boil it, or leave it” can also help to prevent infection (Shigella
Shigella dysenteriae is an infection
of the digestive tract. This bacterium is easily spread through both direct and
indirect contact; with very small amounts of the bacteria needed to cause
infection. S. dysenteriae is often seen in developing countries and unsanitary
places and causes mild to severe diarrhea. These bacteria can sometimes lead to
death in severe cases. With simple health precautions, the spread of Shigella
dysenteriae can be prevented.