Shigella dysenteriae type 1 can cause devastating pandemics with high case fatality rates; a vaccine for Shigella is unavailable currently. Because of the risks associated with performing challenge studies with wild-type S. dysenteriae 1 in human clinical trials to advance vaccine development, an improved nonhuman primate model is needed urgently. In the present study, cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) were challenged with various doses of S. dysenteriae 1 strain 1617 to establish a dose that would produce shigellosis. Further, different routes of delivery of S. dysenteriae 1 were compared to establish the most appropriate route for infection. Animals receiving 10(11) cfu S. dysenteriae 1 intragastrically consistently developed signs of shigellosis characterized by the onset of diarrhea and dysentery within 2 to 3 d. Administration of as many as 10(9) cfu S. dysenteriae 1 intraduodenally did not elicit signs characteristic of infection in macaques despite fecal shedding of bacteria for as long as 10 d. S. dysenteriae 1 administered intraduodenally at 10(9) cfu or intragastrically at 10(11) cfu elicited robust IgG and IgA antibody responses to LPS. We have developed a reliable challenge model of infection with wild-type S. dysenteriae 1 in cynomolgus macaques that reproducibly induces disease and elicits robust immune responses. We believe that this animal model may provide unique insights into the immunologic mechanisms of protection to S. dysenteriae 1 infection and in advancing development of a vaccine against shigellosis.