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A Brief History of Shigella


A Brief History of Shigella

Keith A Lampel et al. EcoSal Plus.


The history of Shigella, the causative agent of bacillary dysentery, is a long and fascinating one. This brief historical account starts with descriptions of the disease and its impact on human health from ancient time to the present. Our story of the bacterium starts just before the identification of the dysentery bacillus by Kiyoshi Shiga in 1898 and follows the scientific discoveries and principal scientists who contributed to the elucidation of Shigella pathogenesis in the first 100 years. Over the past century, Shigella has proved to be an outstanding model of an invasive bacterial pathogen and has served as a paradigm for the study of other bacterial pathogens. In addition to invasion of epithelial cells, some of those shared virulence traits include toxin production, multiple-antibiotic resistance, virulence genes encoded on plasmids and bacteriophages, global regulation of virulence genes, pathogenicity islands, intracellular motility, remodeling of host cytoskeleton, inflammation/polymorphonuclear leukocyte signaling, apoptosis induction/inhibition, and "black holes" and antivirulence genes. While there is still much to learn from studying Shigella pathogenesis, what we have learned so far has also contributed greatly to our broader understanding of bacterial pathogenesis.

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