Caister Academic Press

Shigella and Shigellosis

Philip R. Adam and William D. Picking
from: Shigella: Molecular and Cellular Biology (Edited by: William D. Picking and Wendy L. Picking). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2016) Pages: 7-26.


Shigella spp. are Gram-negative, nonmotile bacilli that are important gastrointestinal pathogens responsible for significant morbidity and mortality, especially in developing nations. It is particularly devastating to children ages 2 to 5 who suffer most from the dehydration and complications of shigellosis. The survivors often exhibit impaired growth due to malnutrition and this is exacerbated by repeated diarrheal episodes. The difficulties posed by shigellosis are further complicated by increased antibiotic resistance and the possibility of post-infection sequelae such as episodes of reactive arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Advances in understanding the pathogenic mechanisms have revealed novel forms of crosstalk between Shigella and its human host. New insights into the type III secretion system of this pathogen, the subversion of normal mammalian cell functions for the benefit of the pathogen, and the use of toxins that enhance infection and cause targeted tissue damage are all part of the Shigella pathogenic arsenal. Nevertheless, shigellosis continues to be a devastating public health problem. This collection of works will illuminate our current understanding of important aspects of Shigella molecular biology and its crosstalk with human cells, and provides the foundation for future research on this important agent of infectious diarrhea read more ...
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