Caister Academic Press

Trans-epithelial Communication in the Context of Shigella Infection

Ana Maldonado and Beth A. McCormick
from: Shigella: Molecular and Cellular Biology (Edited by: William D. Picking and Wendy L. Picking). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2016) Pages: 193-210.


Shigella ssp. are the causative agents of bacillary dysentery, a disease characterized by a severe form of bloody diarrhea. Every year there are about two billion cases of diarrheal disease resulting in millions of deaths. Ninety-nine percent of these cases occur in developing countries, where diarrhea is the second-leading cause of death in children. Shigella is one of the most communicable bacterial agents of diarrheal disease and has evolved to be a highly efficient pathogen, as only humans (and certain higher primates) serve as the only natural host and reservoir. Shigellosis consists of painful abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, tenesmus, and frequently blood and mucus in the stools. These symptoms reflect the invasion of the colonic submucosa by Shigella. Pathogenesis of Shigella ssp. comprise an intricate cross-talk between bacterial factors and host components that leads to the destruction of the epithelium, and the characteristic signs of inflammation exhibited by massive infiltration and exudation of polymorphonuclear cells evidenced in histopathologic analysis of infected patients. At the same time the host activates a sophisticated defense mechanism aimed at clearing the infection. Here we summarized the bacterial-epithelial cell interactions during the course of shigellosis read more ...
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