The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has observed an increase in drug-resistant (XDR) Shigella infections, according to a health advisory issued by the agency.

Shigella bacteria cause an infection called Shigellosis, which “usually causes inflammatory diarrhea that can be bloody and may also lead to fever, abdominal cramping, and tenesmus,” the CDC noted.

According to the CDC, symptoms typically start within two days of infection and then persist for another seven, though some patients experience longer-term complications.

“In 2022, about 5% of Shigella infections reported to CDC were caused by XDR strains, compared with 0% in 2015,” per the health advisory.

Shigella bacteria cause an “estimated 450,000 infections in the United States each year,” resulting in “an estimated $93 million in direct medical costs,” a CDC Question and Answer page indicated.

The press advisory noted that while Shigella infections “are generally self-limiting,” antibiotics can “prevent complications or shorten the duration of illness.” However, the antibiotic-resistant XDR strains “XDR strains have limited antimicrobial treatment options.”

The CDC noted that healthcare providers “might need to prescribe second- or third-choice drugs for treatment,” but even these drugs “might be less effective, may need to be taken through a vein (IV) instead of by mouth, may be more toxic, and may be more expensive.” The CDC also advised that young children are most susceptible to Shigellosis.