Shigella: guidance, data and analysis

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

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

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

S. boydii and S. dysenteriae are not indigenous to the UK and occur as travel associated cases. S. sonnei and S. flexneri are endemic in the UK, although they can also be travel associated. Primarily a disease of children, over the past 10 years in England and Wales, non-travel associated cases in adults aged 16- to 60-years-old have risen, to account for a majority of all cases reported. Outbreaks of S. sonnei and S. flexneri have been linked to person-to-person spread among men who have sex with men.

For symptoms of shigellosis, visit NHS.UK.

Diagnosis and management


Travel-associated infections

Non-travel associated infections

Reports on non-travel associated shigella infections in England.

Published 1 December 2013
Last updated 4 January 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Multi-drug resistant Shigella sonnei cluster (2018 to 2019)'.

  2. Added 'Shigellosis: public health management and questionnaire'.

  3. New sub-group added for non-travel associated infection reports

  4. Added 'Shigella: epidemiology in adults in London'.

  5. Added new data to the epidemiology section.

  6. Added Travel-associated Shigella report 2014

  7. Added 'Shigella: epidemiology in adults in South East from 2011 to 2015'.

  8. Added shigella epidemiology in adults in London from 2011 to 2015.

  9. First published.