Shigella: guidance, data and analysis

The diagnosis, management and epidemiology of shigella (bacillary dysentery).

Shigella, also known as bacillary dysentery, is caused by 4 species:

  • Shigella dysenteriae
  • Shigella flexneri
  • Shigella boydii
  • Shigella sonnei

Most reported cases of shigellosis in the UK are travel related. But infection is readily transmitted from child to child at home or, less frequently, in nurseries. In recent years outbreaks of Shigella sonnei and Shigella flexneri have been linked to person-to-person spread among men who have sex with men.

For symptoms of shigella, visit NHS Choices.

Diagnosis and management

Send a stool sample to the Gastrointestinal Infections Reference Unit at Public Health England (PHE).

Treat confirmed infections with ciprofloxacin.

  1. Shigella leaflet and poster

    • Promotional material


  1. Shigella cases: 1992 to 2013

    • Official Statistics