Shigella sonnei

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Shigella sonnei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Gammaproteobacteria
Order: Enterobacteriales
Family: Enterobacteriaceae
Genus: Shigella
Species: S. sonnei
Binomial name
Shigella sonnei
(Levine 1920) Weldin 1927 [1]

Bacterium sonnei Levine 1920

Shigella sonnei is a species of Shigella.[2] Together with Shigella flexneri, it is responsible for 90% of shigellosis.[3] Shigella sonnei is named for the Danish bacteriologist Carl Olaf Sonne.[4][5] It is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped, nonmotile, nonspore forming bacterium.[6]


This species polymerizes host cell actin.


This species is clonal and has spread worldwide. Analysis of 132 strains has shown that they originated from a common ancestor in Europe around 1500 AD.[7]


It is "group D" Shigella bacteria that causes Shigellosis. Those infected with the bacteria will release it into their stool, thus causing possibility of spread through food or water, or from direct contact to a person orally. Having poorly sanitized living conditions, contaminated food or water will contribute to contracting the bacteria.[8]

People at risk[edit]

Infants and toddlers from 2–4, the elderly, travelers, and the ill people are susceptible to the severest symptoms of S. sonnei disease. Shigellosis is a very common disease suffered by individuals with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related complex, as well as non-AIDS homosexual men.The other people who are at risk include the gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). Shigellosis could also be passed through HIV-infected persons who already have contacted with a more severe and prolonged shigellosis, including having the infection spread into the blood, which can be life-threatening to the person.[9][10]


Infections can result in acute fever, acute abdominal cramping, cramping rectal pain, nausea, watery diarrhea, or blood, mucus, or pus in the stool, which may occur within 1–7 days after coming in contact with the bacteria.[8]

Possible complications[edit]

  • Blood stream infections may occur from Shigella damaging the intestines that cause it and other germs to travel into the bloodstream.
  • Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a complication that occurs when bacteria enter the digestive system and produce toxins to destroy red blood cells that may cause bloody diarrhea as a symptom.
  • Dehydration and seizures will occur most often in children, although the main source as to how Shigella causes these complications as of now is unknown.
  • Rectal prelapse which is straining during the bowel movements can cause lining of rectum to move out the anus
  • Toxic megacolon paralyzes bowel movements or passing gas
  • Reactive arthritis which is the inflammation of joints[11]


No vaccines are available for Shigella. The best prevention against shigellosis is thorough, frequent and cautious handwashing with soap and water before and after using the washroom and before preparing dinner; also a strict adherence to standard food and water safety precautions is important. Also avoid having sexual intercourse with those people who have diarrhea or who recently recovered from diarrhea. Likewise, it is also important to avoid swallowing water from ponds, lakes, or untreated swimming pools to prevent getting Shigella sonnei.[12] [13]


Antibiotic resistance has been reported.[14]

Growth in lab[edit]

It can be grown on MAC agar and TSA, at 37°C optimally, but also grows at 25°C. It is facultatively anaerobic and chemoorganotrophic, and produces acid when carbohydrates are catabolized.


  1. ^ Page Shigella on
  2. ^ Shigella sonnei at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
  3. ^ Shigellosis~clinical at eMedicine
  4. ^ Carl Olaf Sonne at Who Named It?
  5. ^ Shigella sonnei at Who Named It?
  6. ^[full citation needed]
  7. ^ Holt, Kathryn E; Baker, Stephen; Weill, François-Xavier; Holmes, Edward C; Kitchen, Andrew; Yu, Jun; Sangal, Vartul; Brown, Derek J; Coia, John E; Kim, Dong Wook; Choi, Seon Young; Kim, Su Hee; da Silveira, Wanderley D; Pickard, Derek J; Farrar, Jeremy J; Parkhill, Julian; Dougan, Gordon; Thomson, Nicholas R (2012). "Shigella sonnei genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis indicate recent global dissemination from Europe". Nature Genetics. 44 (9): 1056–9. doi:10.1038/ng.2369. PMC 3442231free to read. PMID 22863732. 
  8. ^ a b MedlinePlus Encyclopedia Shigellosis
  9. ^ Nutrition, Center for Food Safety and Applied. "Bad Bug Book - BBB - Shigella spp.". Retrieved April 18, 2016. 
  10. ^ "General Information | Shigella – Shigellosis | CDC". 
  11. ^ Mayo Clinic Staff. "Shigella Infection". Shigella Infection Complications. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 August 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  12. ^ "General Information | Shigella – Shigellosis | CDC". Retrieved 18 April 2016. 
  13. ^ "Shigellosis - Chapter 3 - 2016 Yellow Book | Travelers' Health | CDC". Retrieved 18 April 2016. 
  14. ^ Jain, Sanjay K.; Gupta, Amita; Glanz, Brian; Dick, James; Siberry, George K. (2005). "Antimicrobial-Resistant Shigella sonnei". The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 24 (6): 494–7. doi:10.1097/01.inf.0000164707.13624.a7. PMID 15933557. 

External links[edit]