Decrease in shigellosis-related deaths without Shigella spp.-specific interventions, Asia

Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Nov;16(11):1718-23. doi: 10.3201/eid1611.090934.


In 1999, a review of the literature for 1966-1997 suggested that ≈1.1 million persons die annually of shigellosis, including ≈880,000 in Asia. Our recent review of the literature for 1990-2009 indicates that ≈125 million shigellosis cases occur annually in Asia, of which ≈14,000 are fatal. This estimate for illnesses is similar to the earlier estimate, but the number of deaths is 98% lower; that is, the lower estimate of deaths is associated with markedly reduced case-fatality rates rather than fewer cases. Shigella spp.-related deaths decreased substantially during a period without Shigella spp.-specific interventions. We speculate that nonspecific interventions, e.g., measles vaccination, vitamin A supplementation, and improved nutrition, may have led to the reduced number of shigellosis-related deaths.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Dysentery, Bacillary / epidemiology*
  • Dysentery, Bacillary / mortality*
  • Dysentery, Bacillary / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Shigella / classification*