How is Shigella infection treated?

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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Answer

The clinician should rapidly assess the patient's fluid and electrolyte status and institute parenteral or oral hydration along with antipyretics as needed. Prompt recognition and treatment of seizures and raised intracranial pressure are essential. Nutritional supplementation of vitamin A (200,000 IU) can hasten clinical resolution in malnourished children. [18, 19]

Zinc supplementation (20 mg elemental zinc for 14 d) has been shown to reduce the duration of diarrhea, improve weight gain during recovery, and result in better immune response to the Shigella along with decreased incidence of diarrheal illness in the subsequent 6 months in malnourished children. [17, 20, 21]

Methods to use bacteriophages to control bacterial infections are being developed and these include the combination of broad host range phages. Within the cocktails, the phages can alter their host range in situ and can be used to treat certain bacterial disease as well as decontaminate food handling premises. Interest in phage therapy has increased and well controlled, well designed blinded studies are on way which will eventually answer many of the questions derived from earlier studies. [22, 12, 23]


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