• Vol. 30 No. 6, 668–670
  • 15 November 2001

Shigella Septicaemia in Adults: Report of Two Cases and Mini-Review


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Introduction: We report 2 cases of Shigella septicaemia in adult patients.

Clinical Picture: Two 57-year-old women presented with non-bloody diarrhoea and fever. The first patient was an inmate of a long-term care facility who was schizophrenic and the second patient was a diabetic who recently travelled to Medan, Indonesia. Both patients were febrile, hypotensive and dehydrated. The first patient was neutropenic, thrombocytopenic and had acute renal failure. Blood cultures yielded Shigella flexneri and stool cultures gave negative results for both patients.

Treatment: Rehydration and intravenous ceftriaxone were instituted.

Outcome: The patients’ symptoms and hypotension resolved.

Conclusion: Appropriate antibiotics can decrease the severity and duration of Shigella septicaemia.

Shigellosis is generally considered to be confined to the gastrointestinal tract. Septicaemic infections with Shigella species are extremely rare in adults.

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