The Ultimate Guide To Shigella Sonnei

Shigella sonnei, commonly known as S. Sonnei is one of the most commonly found species of Shigella and the cause of 90% of Shigellosis cases.

It was named after Carl Olaf Sonne, a Danish bacteriologist, and is a gram-negative bacterium that is rod-shaped as well as non-spore-forming.

The Ultimate Guide To Shigella Sonnei

In this guide, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about Shigella Sonnei from its biological and bacterial information to the cases and how you can prevent it. 

Biological And Bacterial Information

Here is the biological and bacterial information that you need to know about Shigella Sonnei:

  • The domain is Bacteria.
  • The phylum is Pseudomonadota.
  • The class is Gammaproteobacteria.
  • The order is Enterobacterales.
  • The family is Enterobacteriaceae.
  • The genus is Shigella.
  • The species is S. sonnei.

Where Is Shigella Sonnei Found?

There have been cases of Shigella sonnei found all over the world as it is a clonal species.

It is through to have originated in 1500 AD in Europe after a thorough analysis of 132 strains was conducted. 

What Can Shigella Sonnei Cause?

Shigella sonnei is known as one of the most common causes of shigellosis, causing approximately 90% of overall cases around the world.

Shigella sonnei tends to find its way into the human body via the fecal-oral route. It is then spread through food or water as the infected will release the bacteria in their stool. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Shigella Sonnei?

There are a wide variety of symptoms that Shigella sonnei can cause with infection.

These symptoms tend to appear between 1 and 7 days after contracting the bacteria and will naturally go away with time in the majority of cases. Here are the most common symptoms:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Rectal pain

However, there is the possibility that complications may arise, especially if you find that the symptoms are not calming down or going away after a week or so.

Here are some of the problems that can occur with complications:

  • Dehydration
  • Infections in the bloodstream
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Seizures

Always seek the advice of your local medical professional so that they may prescribe you appropriate medicine or provide you with treatment if needed. 

Who Is At Risk?

Anyone can get infected by Shigella Sonnei, but there are certain groups of people that are more vulnerable and susceptible compared to others.

Therefore, it’s important to be aware and if you fall under one of these categories, make sure you go to the nearest doctors or hospital immediately.

Here are those who are most at risk of Shigella Sonnei:

  • Elderly
  • Small children
  • Those with chronic health conditions

How Can You Prevent Shigella Sonnei?

There are no vaccines or known cures for Shigella, but if you want to prevent your risk of getting shigellosis, make sure that you are constantly washing your hands with soap and water when handling food and every time you use the washroom. 

Another way that you can prevent shigellosis is by making sure that you maintain high standards when it comes to food and drink.

This means making sure that any establishments you frequent adhere to food and water safety precautions and have high hygiene ratings. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Disease Does Shigella Sonnei Cause?

Shigella Sonnei is known as being a major cause of shigellosis, and actually accounts for 90% of all shigellosis cases.

Shigella-related infections can cause all kinds of uncomfortable and painful symptoms including bloody diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps to name a few. 

Where Is Shigella Sonnei Found?

Shigella Sonnei is mainly found in countries where there are foodborne outbreaks in developed countries. This is because shigellosis occurs when infected food is consumed.

However, this doesn’t mean that there is one specific area where it has been recorded to occur. 

What Foods Cause Shigella?

As mentioned above, there are many foods that have been known to cause Shigella outbreaks that have included a variety of salads including chicken, fruit, lettuce, macaroni, potato, shrimp, tuna, and turkey as well as beans, chopped turkey, lunch meat, milk, pudding, raw oysters, rice balls, spinach, and strawberries.

The contamination of these foods tends to occur through the fecal-oral route. 


In conclusion, Shigella Sonnei is a Shigella species that causes 90% of Shigella-related cases.

It is defined by its gram-negative bacterium status and is known for its rod shape, non-spore-forming, and non-motility.

If you suffer from conditions such as shigellosis, you will need to make sure that you seek assistance from a medical professional to prevent any long-term illnesses from occurring.

There are also certain groups of people that are more at risk than others, so it’s important to make sure that you double-check whether you fall under any of these groups and take extra precautions.
Jennifer Dawkins

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