Shigellosis epidemiology and demographics

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-In-Chief: Yazan Daaboul; Serge Korjian


Although individuals of all age groups may acquire shigellosis, the majority of affected individuals are children between the age of 2 to 5. There is no gender or racial predominance of shigellosis. More than 160 million cases are reported annually, of which more than 95% are reported in the developing countries. Shigella sonnei accounts for the majority of shigellosis cases in the developed (industrialized) countries, while Shigella flexneri accounts for the majority of shigellosis cases in the developing countries.

Epidemiology and Demographics


  • In 2013, the average annual incidence of shigellosis in the United States was 4.82 cases per 100,000 individuals.


  • Individuals of all age groups may acquire shigellosis.
  • Children between the age of 2 to 5 and elderly patients are most susceptible to acquire shigellosis.[1][2]
  • Approximately 60% to 70% of all cases are reported in childcare/school settings or among families with small children.[1][2]


  • There is no gender predominance for shigellosis.


  • There is no racial predominance for shigellosis.

Developed Countries

  • The total incidence of shigellosis in the developed countries is estimated to be approximately 1.5 million cases per year.[1][2]
  • Approximately 14,000 laboratory confirmed cases of shigellosis and an estimated 448,240 total cases occur in the United States each year.[1][2]
  • The majority of cases reported in USA are caused by Shigella sonnei (approximately 77%).[1]

Developing Countries

  • The incidence of shigellosis in the developing world is estimated to exceed 160 million cases per year, among which shigellosis is responsible for approximately 1.1 million deaths per year.[1]
  • In the developing world, the most common cause of shigellosis is S. flexneri (approximately 60%).[2]
  • Epidemics of S. dysenteriae type 1 have been reported in Africa and Central America with case fatality rates that range between 5 to 15%.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Kotloff KL, Winickoff JP, Ivanoff B, Clemens JD, Swerdlow DL, Sansonetti PJ; et al. (1999). "Global burden of Shigella infections: implications for vaccine development and implementation of control strategies". Bull World Health Organ. 77 (8): 651–66. PMC 2557719. PMID 10516787.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5

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