Shigella flexneri bacterium. © Science Photo Library

Shigellosis is a gastrointestinal infection caused by one of four species of Shigella bacteria: Shigella sonnei, S. flexneri, S. boydii and S. dysenteriae. Possible symptoms and complications depend on the species of the bacteria causing the infection. Shigellosis is caught by swallowing material contaminated by faeces, either via the hands or on objects which have been in contact with faeces. Infection can also be caught from contaminated food and water.

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