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Fast Facts


  • Every year, there are about 500,000 cases of shigellosis in the United States 1. Shigellosis does not have a marked seasonality, likely reflecting the importance of person-to-person transmission. For more information, see the FoodNet 2011 Surveillance Report.[PDF - 53 pages]


  • In 2013, the average annual incidence of shigellosis in the United States was 4.82 cases per 100,000 individuals 2.


  • Shigella infections have not declined appreciably over the past 10 years. The incidence rate of infection with Shigella sonnei decreased from 2008 through 2011, but increased in 2012 3, 4.

Antibiotic Resistance

  • Resistance to traditional first-line drugs such as ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is common. Healthcare providers now rely on alternative drugs like ciprofloxacin and azithromycin to treat infections. However, strains of Shigella resistant to these antibiotics are becoming more common in the United States. Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant Shigella strains can last longer than infections caused by antibiotic-susceptible bacteria (bacteria that can be treated effectively with antibiotics) 5. Because initial treatment can fail, costs are expected to be higher for resistant infections 5. For more information, see Antibiotic / Antimicrobial Resistance.
  1. Scallan E, Hoekstra RM, Angulo FJ, Tauxe RV, Widdowson MA, Roy SL, Jones JL, Griffin PM. Foodborne illness acquired in the United States--major pathogens. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011;17(1):7-15.
  2. Crim SM, Iwamoto M, Huang JY, Griffin PM, Gilliss D, Cronquist AB, Cartter M, Tobin-D'Angelo M, Blythe D, Smith K, Lathrop S, Zansky S, Cieslak PR, Dunn J, Holt KG, Lance S, Tauxe R, Henao OL. Incidence and trends of infection with pathogens transmitted commonly through food--Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, 10 U.S. sites, 2006-2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63(15):328-32.
  3. CDC. National Enteric Disease Surveillance: Shigella Annual Report, 2012.[PDF - 9 pages] 2014.
  4. CDC. National Enteric Disease Surveillance: Shigella Annual Summary, 2008.[PDF - 3 pages] 2012.
  5. CDC. Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013.[PDF - 114 pages]