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Laura Liefer

Date of Award

Spring 2004

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Laura Runyen-Janecky


Shigella flexneri is a gram-negative, facultative anaerobic bacterial pathogen that causes shigellosis in humans, a diarrheal disease caused by colonization of the colonic and rectal mucosa that is characterized by fever, abdominal pain, and bloody stools (Dorman and Porter, 1998; Menard et al., 1996a; Sansonetti et al., 2001). There are approximate 145 million cases of shigellosis worldwide each year (Sansonetti et al., 2001). The disease is found primarily in the developing world in areas with poor sanitation conditions and is especially prevalent in young children. Shigellae are spread by person-to-person contact and by contaminated food and water. Shigellosis is highly infectious since as few as 10 bacteria can cause infection, but severity of symptoms varies between individuals (Sansonetti et al., 2001).