Shigellosis in pediatric wards

E. Lahat, G. Mundel, J. Heipert, Z. Beer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Shigella group of organisms is a fairly common cause of gastrointestinal infection in all age groups and especially in childhood. The clinical picture may be varied and includes early and late complications. In recent years changes in the prevalence of the various strains have been noted throughout the world, including Israel. At the beginning of the century the main cause of bacterial dysentery was Shigella dysenteriae type 1 (Shiga bacillus) which produced large outbreaks with a high mortality. Today this strain is apparently rarely isolated and the common strains in most parts of the world, including Israel, are Shigella flexneri and Shigella sonnei. Moreover, it appears that there has been a significant change in the prevalence of strains resistant to antibiotics, and especially to ampicillin. This report surveys 212 cases of shigellosis in pediatric departments during the past five years. The majority of cases were under five years of age and admissions were most frequent in the late summer. The most prevalent strains were S.sonnei and S.flexneri. Not a single case of S.dysenteriae type 1 (S.shigae) was isolated. There was no significant difference in the duration of diarrhea in cases treated with ampicillin or trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole, but this observation was not made under controlled conditions. No changes in sensitivity of Shigella strains to ampicillin or trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole were observed, 90% of the strains being sensitive to both.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-344+384
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


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