Shigellosis historical perspective

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


Shigella was first discovered by Dr. Kiyoshi Shiga following a bacillary dysentery outbreak in Japan in 1896. Since then, several outbreaks have occurred.

Historical Perspective

  • Shigella was first discovered by Dr. Kiyoshi Shiga, a Japanese scientist, following a bacillary dysentery outbreak in Japan in 1896.
  • Shigella was then adopted as a genus with 4 species in 1950s.
  • In 2000, Shigella was found to be phylogenically closely related to E. coli. Both species are thought to be derived from similar ancestral virulence plasmids.

Shigella Outbreaks

Several Shigella outbreaks have been reported in USA in the past, including the following outbreaks:

  • January, 2000: Senor Felix outbreak in Washington, California, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, and Alaska. A total of 122 cases were reported.
  • October, 2000: Viva Mexico outbreak in California, USA. A total of 221 cases were reported.
  • January, 2001: Royal Fork outbreak in Washington, USA. A total of 8 cases were reported.
  • May, 2001: Tomato outbreak in New York. A total of 118 cases were reported.
  • August, 2004: Gate Gourmet outbreak in Hawaii. A total of 22 cases were reported.
  • August, 2006: Filiberto's outbreak in San Diego, USA. A total of 73 cases were reported.
  • March, 2010: Subway Restaurant outbreak in Illinois, USA. A total of 328 cases were reported.
  • March, 2015: Drug-resistant Shigella outbreak in Massachusetts, California, and Pennsylvania, USA.


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