Julia Solans 16:28pm, March 21, 2023Present in France for several years, shigellosis is not known to the general public but is no less dangerous. Transmitted by the faecal-oral route, it is a diarrhoeal disease that is fatal in case of complication and is highly resistant to antibiotics. In a statement, the Institut Pasteur indicated the rise of one of the strains on French territory.
Beware of this highly contagious diarrheal disease that spreads dangerously in France. Unknown to many, it is commonly known as shigellosis and comes from the Shigella bacteria. In a statement, the Institut Pasteur reported the rise in France of Shigella sonnei strains that are "highly resistant to antibiotics". Particularly deadly in developing countries, shigellosis has a "high epidemic potential" that particularly worries scientists. The cases are mainly detected within the homosexual community, among men.
The symptoms of shigellosis vary depending on the severity, but they are mostly characterized by "abdominal pain often accompanied by vomiting". Stool can become very frequent, sometimes up to hemorrhage. In case of complications, the patient may be hypoglycemic, dehydrated or be a victim of intestinal obstruction. "Severe forms can lead to death," details the Institut Pasteur.
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An antibiotic-resistant disease
Although this disease is curable, its resistance to so-called "first-line" antibiotics is very problematic. Unlike other diarrheal diseases that are rather common on a daily basis, this one requires the patient to bring antibiotics much rarer on the market and whose price is also doubled. According to the Institut Pasteur, these strains have been detected in Australia, the United States, England and France.
Still too recent for scientists, this bacterium still requires many studies and research to better learn how to identify it but also to treat it. "Therapeutic trials are essential to identify effective oral antibiotics to treat these highly resistant Shigella strains," says the French foundation. Shigellosis is estimated to kill about 200,000 people worldwide each year.