bacillary dysentery

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Related to bacillary dysentery: amoebic dysentery

Bacillary dysentery

A highly contagious intestinal disease caused by rod-shaped bacteria of the genus Shigella. Bacillary dysentery is a significant infection of children in the developing world, where it is transmitted by the fecal-oral route. The global disease burden is estimated as 165 million episodes and 1.3 million deaths annually. Common-source outbreaks occasionally occur in developed countries, usually as a result of contaminated food. The most common species isolated in developed countries is S. sonnei, while S. flexneri serotypes predominate in endemic areas. Epidemics of S. dysenteriae 1 occur in equatorial regions, and these outbreaks can involve adults as well as children.

When ingested even in very small numbers, shigellae multiply in the intestine and invade the epithelial lining of the colon. Infection of this tissue elicits an acute inflammatory response (colitis) that is manifested as diarrhea or bloody, mucoid stools (dysentery). The virulence of all Shigella species, and Shigella-like enteroinvasive Escherichia coli, depends on an extrachromosomal genetic element (virulence plasmid) that encodes four invasion plasmid antigen (Ipa) proteins and a secretory system (Type III) for these proteins. Secreted Ipa proteins help shigellae to initiate colonic invasion through specialized endocytic intestinal cells (M cells). After shigellae pass through these M cells, they are phagocytized by tissue macrophages in the underlying lymphoid tissue. Ipa proteins then induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in infected macrophages, releasing cytokines (primarily IL-1) that initiate an acute, localized inflammatory infiltrate. This infiltrate of polymorphonuclear leukocytes destabilizes tight junctions between absorptive epithelial cells (enterocytes), making the tissue more susceptible to additional Shigella invasion. Secreted Ipa proteins induce uptake of shigellae by the colonic enterocytes. The virulence plasmid also encodes an intercellular spread protein (IcsA) that recruits mammalian cytoskeletal elements (primarily actin) to the bacterial surface. This actin is organized into a cytoplasmic motor that facilitates spread of shigellae to adjacent enterocytes. See Escherichia

In otherwise healthy individuals, bacillary dysentery is typically a short-term disease lasting less than a week. The symptoms can be truncated by appropriate antibiotic therapy (such as oral ampicillin or cyprofloxacin) that rapidly eliminates shigellae from the intestinal lumen and tissues. When S. dysenteriae 1 is the etiologic agent, however, hemolytic uremic syndrome can be manifested as a serious consequence of disease. This species produces a cytotoxin (Shiga toxin or Stx) that is functionally identical to the toxin of enterohemorrhagic E. coli (for example, O157:H7). Stx inhibits protein synthesis, damaging endothelial cells of the intestinal capillary bed; the toxin may also damage renal tubules, causing acute renal failure with chronic sequela in up to one-third of hemolytic uremic syndrome patients. See Medical bacteriology

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

bacillary dysentery

[′bas·ə‚ler·ē ′dis·ən‚ter·ē]
A highly infectious bacterial disease of humans, localized in the bowels; caused by Shigella.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In support of ongoing disease surveillance, 138 stool samples were processed and sensitive and specific identification of diarrheagenic E coli disease and bacillary dysentery agents was accomplished in 3 days.
Shigellosis, also called bacillary dysentery, causes bloody diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, and cramps.
Such a condition was motivated by a variety of factors including bacillary dysentery, perspiration, and seasickness, particularly depending upon the time of year and location from which the slavers departed Africa.
At thirty-eight he reported the Mexican Revolution for Collier's, but was forced to return home following a severe case of bacillary dysentery. At thirty-nine, suffering from failing kidneys, he returned to Hawaii, hoping to regain his health.
There are such patent absurdities, the book reveals, such as acupuncture's supposed ability to cure acute bacillary dysentery, myopia, cataracts, paralysis, and raging fevers.
This is a well known agent of bacillary dysentery, infantile diarrhoea all over the world and more serious than the common "stomach flu".
To the Editor: Shigella sonnei causes a bacillary dysentery called shigellosis.
The initial presentation is often non-specific, and the differential diagnosis includes common febrile illnesses found in West Africa including malaria, typhoid, and bacillary dysentery. These conditions have to be ruled out or treated empirically.