What is the role of hematologic testing in the diagnosis of Shigella infection?

Updated: Apr 03, 2018
  • Author: Jaya Sureshbabu, MBBS, MRCPCH(UK), MRCPI(Paeds), MRCPS(Glasg), DCH(Glasg); Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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  • Hematology

    • The total WBC count reveals no consistent findings. A shift to the left (increased number of band cells) in the differential WBC count in a patient with diarrhea suggests bacillary dysentery. Leukopenia or leukemoid reactions are occasionally detected.

    • In HUS, anemia and thrombocytopenia occur.

    • Bacteremia is rare, even in severe disease, possibly due to the superficial nature of Shigella infection; the organism rarely penetrates beyond the mucosa.

    • Blood culture should be obtained in children who appear toxic, very young, severely ill, malnourished, or immunocompromised because of their increased risk of bacteremia.

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