Shigella dysenteriae

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Shigella dysenteriae
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Dark field microscopy revealing Shigella dysenteriae bacteria.
Scientific classification
S. dysenteriae
Binomial name
Shigella dysenteriae
(Shiga 1897)
Castellani & Chalmers 1919

Shigella dysenteriae is a species of the rod-shaped bacterial genus Shigella . [1] [ page needed ]Shigella species can cause shigellosis (bacillary dysentery). Shigellae are Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, facultatively anaerobic, nonmotile bacteria. [2]

Bacteria A domain of prokaryotes – single celled organisms without a nucleus

Bacteria are a type of biological cell. They constitute a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a number of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals. Bacteria were among the first life forms to appear on Earth, and are present in most of its habitats. Bacteria inhabit soil, water, acidic hot springs, radioactive waste, and the deep portions of Earth's crust. Bacteria also live in symbiotic and parasitic relationships with plants and animals. Most bacteria have not been characterised, and only about half of the bacterial phyla have species that can be grown in the laboratory. The study of bacteria is known as bacteriology, a branch of microbiology.

A genus is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.

<i>Shigella</i> genus of bacteria

Shigella is a genus of Gram-negative, facultative aerobic, non-spore-forming, nonmotile, rod-shaped bacteria genetically closely related to E. coli. The genus is named after Kiyoshi Shiga, who first discovered it in 1897.


S. dysenteriae, spread by contaminated water and food, causes minor dysentery because of its Shiga toxin, but other species may also be dysentery agents. [3] Contamination is often caused by bacteria on unwashed hands during food preparation, or soiled hands reaching the mouth.[ citation needed ]

Dysentery inflammation of the intestine causing diarrhea with blood

Dysentery is an inflammatory disease of the intestine, especially of the colon, which always results in severe diarrhea and abdominal pains. Other symptoms may include fever and a feeling of incomplete defecation. The disease is caused by several types of infectious pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and parasites.

Shiga toxin

Shiga toxins are a family of related toxins with two major groups, Stx1 and Stx2, expressed by genes considered to be part of the genome of lambdoid prophages. The toxins are named after Kiyoshi Shiga, who first described the bacterial origin of dysentery caused by Shigella dysenteriae. The most common sources for Shiga toxin are the bacteria S. dysenteriae and the shigatoxigenic serotypes of Escherichia coli (STEC), which includes serotypes O157:H7, and O104:H4.

Signs and symptoms

The most commonly observed signs associated with Shigella dysentery include colitis, malnutrition, rectal prolapse, tenesmus, reactive arthritis, and central nervous system problems. Further, S. dysenteriae is associated with the development of hemolytic-uremic syndrome, which includes anemia, thrombocytopenia, and renal failure.

Colitis inflammation of the colon or the large intestine

Colitis is an inflammation of the colon. Colitis may be acute and self-limited or long-term. It broadly fits into the category of digestive diseases.

Malnutrition Medical condition that results from eating too little, too much, or the wrong nutrients

Malnutrition is a condition that results from eating a diet in which one or more nutrients are either not enough or are too much such that the diet causes health problems. It may involve calories, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins or minerals. Not enough nutrients is called undernutrition or undernourishment while too much is called overnutrition. Malnutrition is often used to specifically refer to undernutrition where an individual is not getting enough calories, protein, or micronutrients. If undernutrition occurs during pregnancy, or before two years of age, it may result in permanent problems with physical and mental development. Extreme undernourishment, known as starvation, may have symptoms that include: a short height, thin body, very poor energy levels, and swollen legs and abdomen. People also often get infections and are frequently cold. The symptoms of micronutrient deficiencies depend on the micronutrient that is lacking.

Rectal prolapse rectal walls have prolapsed to a degree where they protrude out the anus and are visible outside the body

Rectal prolapse is when the rectal walls have prolapsed to a degree where they protrude out the anus and are visible outside the body. However, most researchers agree that there are 3 to 5 different types of rectal prolapse, depending on if the prolapsed section is visible externally, and if the full or only partial thickness of the rectal wall is involved.


Since the typical fecal specimen is not sterile, the use of selective plates is mandatory. XLD agar, DCA agar, or Hektoen enteric agar are inoculated; all give colorless colonies as the organism is not a lactose fermenter. Inoculation of a TSI slant shows an alkaline slant and acidic, but with no gas, or H
production. Following incubation on SIM, the culture appears nonmotile with no H
production. Addition of Kovac's reagent to the SIM tube following growth typically indicates no indole formation (serotypes 2, 7, and 8 produce indole [4] ).

XLD agar culture medium used in microbiology

Xylose Lysine Deoxycholate agar is a selective growth medium used in the isolation of Salmonella and Shigella species from clinical samples and from food. It has a pH of approximately 7.4, leaving it with a bright pink or red appearance due to the indicator phenol red. Sugar fermentation lowers the pH and the phenol red indicator registers this by changing to yellow. Most gut bacteria, including Salmonella, can ferment the sugar xylose to produce acid; Shigella colonies cannot do this and therefore remain red. After exhausting the xylose supply Salmonella colonies will decarboxylate lysine, increasing the pH once again to alkaline and mimicking the red Shigella colonies. Salmonellae metabolise thiosulfate to produce hydrogen sulfide, which leads to the formation of colonies with black centers and allows them to be differentiated from the similarly coloured Shigella colonies.

DCA agar

DCA agar is a solid bacteriological growth medium.

Hektoen enteric agar selective and differential agar primarily used to recover Salmonella and Shigella from patient specimens

Hektoen enteric agar is a selective and differential agar primarily used to recover Salmonella and Shigella from patient specimens. HEA contains indicators of lactose fermentation and hydrogen sulfide production; as well as inhibitors to prevent the growth of Gram-positive bacteria. It is named after the Hektoen Institute in Chicago, where researchers developed the agar.

Shigella flexneri will produce acid and gas from glucose, and Shigella sonnei is mannitol and ornithine positive, and is also a late lactose fermenter (ONPG positive). Some Shigella species can produce indole.

<i>Shigella flexneri</i> species of bacterium

Shigella flexneri is a species of Gram-negative bacteria in the genus Shigella that can cause diarrhea in humans. Several different serogroups of Shigella are described; S. flexneri belongs to group B. S. flexneri infections can usually be treated with antibiotics, although some strains have become resistant. Less severe cases are not usually treated because they become more resistant in the future.

<i>Shigella sonnei</i> species of bacterium

Shigella sonnei is a species of Shigella. Together with Shigella flexneri, it is responsible for 90% of shigellosis cases. Shigella sonnei is named for the Danish bacteriologist Carl Olaf Sonne. It is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped, nonmotile, non-spore-forming bacterium.

Mannitol chemical compound

Mannitol is a type of sugar alcohol which is also used as a medication. As a sugar, it is often used as a sweetener in diabetic food, as it is poorly absorbed from the intestines. As a medication, it is used to decrease pressure in the eyes, as in glaucoma, and to lower increased intracranial pressure. Medically, it is given by injection. Effects typically begin within 15 minutes and last up to 8 hours.

See also

Related Research Articles

Enterobacteriaceae family of bacteria

The Enterobacteriaceae are a large family of Gram-negative bacteria. This family is the only representative in the order Enterobacteriales of the class Gammaproteobacteria in the phylum Proteobacteria.

<i>Escherichia coli</i> O157:H7 serotype of the bacterial species Escherichia coli and is one of the Shiga toxin–producing types of E. coli

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a serotype of the bacterial species Escherichia coli and is one of the Shiga toxin–producing types of E. coli. It is a cause of disease, typically foodborne illness, through consumption of contaminated and raw food, including raw milk and undercooked ground beef. Infection with this type of pathogenic bacteria may lead to hemorrhagic diarrhea, and to kidney failure; these have been reported to cause the deaths of children younger than five years of age, of elderly patients, and of patients whose immune systems are otherwise compromised.

Shigellosis Human disease

Shigellosis is an infection of the intestines caused by Shigella bacteria. Symptoms generally start one to two days after exposure and include diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and feeling the need to pass stools even when the bowels are empty. The diarrhea may be bloody. Symptoms typically last five to seven days. Complications can include reactive arthritis, sepsis, seizures, and hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Shiga-like toxin

Shiga-like toxin, also known as verotoxin and verocytotoxin, is a toxin generated by some strains of Escherichia coli. It is named for its similarity to the AB5-type Shiga toxin produced by the bacteria Shigella dysenteriae.

Agar plate

An agar plate is a Petri dish that contains agar as a solid growth medium plus nutrients, used to culture microorganisms. Sometimes selective compounds are added to influence growth, such as antibiotics.

Bacteriological water analysis

Bacteriological water analysis is a method of analysing water to estimate the numbers of bacteria present and, if needed, to find out what sort of bacteria they are. It represents one aspect of water quality. It is a microbiological analytical procedure which uses samples of water and from these samples determines the concentration of bacteria. It is then possible to draw inferences about the suitability of the water for use from these concentrations. This process is used, for example, to routinely confirm that water is safe for human consumption or that bathing and recreational waters are safe to use.

<i>Proteus vulgaris</i> species of bacterium

Proteus vulgaris is a rod-shaped, nitrate-reducing, indole+ and catalase-positive, hydrogen sulfide-producing, Gram-negative bacterium that inhabits the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. It can be found in soil, water, and fecal matter. It is grouped with the Enterobacteriaceae and is an opportunistic pathogen of humans. It is known to cause wound infections and other species of its genera are known to cause urinary tract infections.

Kiyoshi Shiga Japanese physician

Kiyoshi Shiga was a Japanese physician and bacteriologist.

Coliform bacteria

Coliform bacteria are defined as rod-shaped Gram-negative non-spore forming and motile or non-motile bacteria which can ferment lactose with the production of acid and gas when incubated at 35–37°C. They are a commonly used indicator of sanitary quality of foods and water. Coliforms can be found in the aquatic environment, in soil and on vegetation; they are universally present in large numbers in the feces of warm-blooded animals. While coliforms themselves are not normally causes of serious illness, they are easy to culture, and their presence is used to indicate that other pathogenic organisms of fecal origin may be present. Such pathogens include disease-causing bacteria, viruses, or protozoa and many multicellular parasites. Coliform procedures are performed in aerobic or anaerobic conditions.

Eosin methylene blue culture medium used in microbiology

Eosin methylene blue is a selective stain for gram-negative bacteria. EMB contains dyes that are toxic to gram-positive bacteria. EMB is the selective and differential medium for coliforms. It is a blend of two stains, eosin and methylene blue in the ratio of 6:1. A common application of this stain is in the preparation of EMB agar, a differential microbiological medium, which slightly inhibits the growth of Gram-positive bacteria and provides a color indicator distinguishing between organisms that ferment lactose and those that do not. Organisms that ferment lactose display "nucleated colonies"—colonies with dark centers.

MacConkey agar culture medium used in microbiology

MacConkey agar is an indicator, a selective and differential culture medium for bacteria designed to selectively isolate Gram-negative and enteric bacilli and differentiate them based on lactose fermentation. The crystal violet and bile salts inhibit the growth of Gram-positive organisms which allows for the selection and isolation of gram-negative bacteria. Enteric bacteria that have the ability to ferment lactose can be detected using the carbohydrate lactose, and the pH indicator neutral red.

Bacillary dysentery is a type of dysentery, and is a severe form of shigellosis.

Sorbitol MacConkey agar is a variant of traditional MacConkey agar used in the detection of E. coli O157:H7. Traditionally, MacConkey agar has been used to distinguish those bacteria that ferment lactose from those that do not. This is important because gut bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, can typically ferment lactose, while important gut pathogens, such as Salmonella enterica and most shigellas are unable to ferment lactose. Shigella sonnei can ferment lactose, but only after prolonged incubation, so it is referred to as a late-lactose fermenter.

<i>Shigella boydii</i> species of bacterium

Shigella boydii is a Gram-negative bacterium of the genus Shigella. Like other members of the genus, S. boydii is a nonmotile, nonsporeforming, rod-shaped bacterium which can cause dysentery in humans through fecal-oral contamination.

TSI slant differential medium used in microbiology

The Triple Sugar Iron (TSI) test is a microbiological test roughly named for its ability to test a microorganism's ability to ferment sugars and to produce hydrogen sulfide. It is often used in the selective identification of enteric bacteria including Salmonella and Shigella.


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