National Reference Center for Shigellosis

Our National Reference Center for Shigellosis is located in our Public Health business area.

Shigellae are Gram-negative, immotile, facultative anaerobic rod-shaped bacteria. They are the causative agents of shigellosis (shigella dysentery, shigella dysentery). The only relevant source of infection is humans. The infection is transmitted through the stool of diseased or infected carriers (person without signs of disease). The infectious dose is very low. Even a minimal amount (10-200 germs) is sufficient to cause clinical symptoms. The reason for this is a relatively high acid tolerance compared to Salmonella. The genus Shigella belongs to the family of Enterobacterales and can be divided into 4 species or subgroups (UG) based on their biochemical characteristics and specific O-antigens:

  • S. dysenteriae (subgroup A)
  • S. flexneri (subgroup B)
  • S. boydii (subgroup C)
  • S. sonnei (subgroup D)

The strains within UG A-C can be subdivided into serovars. S. sonnei is serologically uniform and consists of one serovar.


Mag. Dr. Ingeborg Lederer

Last updated: 22.04.2022

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