Shigellosis is a major cause of diarrhoea-related morbidity and mortality, especially in developing countries. Effective antibiotic treatment reduces the average duration of illness by reducing faecal excretion of the bacterium and preventing further transmission and potentially lethal complications. Treatment of shigellosis is currently limited by the high prevalence of multidrug-resistant strains of Shigella. Although fluoroquinolones are currently effective in treating adults, resistance to fluoroquinolones among Shigella spp. is emerging, and their use in children is subject to limitations. Azithromycin and third-generation cephalosporins are also effective in the treatment of shigellosis, but monitoring of Shigella isolates to detect the emergence of resistance is essential.