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INTRODUCTION: Shigella bacteria cause shigellosis, a gastrointestinal infection most often acquired from contaminated food or water. METHODS: In this review, the general characteristics of Shigella bacteria are described, cases of laboratory-acquired infections (LAIs) are discussed, and evidence gaps in current biosafety practices are identified. RESULTS: LAIs are undoubtedly under-reported. Owing to the low infectious dose, rigorous biosafety level 2 practices are required to prevent LAIs resulting from sample manipulation or contact with infected surfaces. CONCLUSIONS: It is recommended that, before laboratory work with Shigella, an evidence-based risk assessment be conducted. Particular emphasis should be placed on personal protective equipment, handwashing, and containment practices for procedures that generate aerosols or droplets.

Original publication




Journal article


Appl Biosaf

Publication Date





96 - 101


Shigella spp., biosafety evidence, disinfection, inactivation, knowledge gap analysis, pathogen characteristics