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The disease

Shigellosis, or bacillary dysentery, is a disease whose symptoms can range from mild enteric infection (self-limiting watery diarrhoea) to very severe symptoms (high fever, dysentery, intestinal perforation and renal failure). It is caused by 4 species of bacteria, Shigella dysenteriae, Shigella flexneri, Shigella boydii and Shigella sonnei. The bacteria are transmitted by the faecal-oral route, directly from person to person or through contaminated food or water. A very large number leave of bacteria is required to acquire the disease, which facilitates the transmission of the disease.

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Shigellosis cases are estimated at 164.7 million worldwide. Approximately 98% of cases occur in developing countries development and 2% in industrialised countries, where they cause about 600,000 deaths per year. Shigellosis is one of the leading causes of infant mortality in developing countries development. Sixty-nine percent of deaths occur in children under 5 years of age.


Treatment and vaccination

Antibiotic treatment and fluid replacement are effective. There is no vaccine. Preventive measures focus on good food hygiene, hand washing and proper waste management. Some of these treatment and prevention measures are complex to implement in developing countries development. For this reason, and given the high propensity for large epidemics, priority has been given to development for effective vaccines to combat it.


Lines of research

This project pursues the development of a safe and effective vaccine against Shigella spp. To this end, the goal is to design a vaccine using acellular extracts of the bacteria free or encapsulated in nanoparticles. The vaccine formulation will be suitable for single administration via intradermal (patches) or mucosal (nasal or oral) routes and will be able to induce a protective immune response in humans against Shigella.

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Team researcher Bacterial pathologies. Shigellosis-ETEC


Carlos Gamazo (PhD)

Principal investigator


+34 948 42 56 00 Extension: 806251

View CV "View Carlos Gamazo's CV (PhD)".

Juan Manuel Irache (PhD)

Principal investigator


+34 948 42 56 00 Extension: 806478


Alba Calvo



Melibea Berzosa

PhD Student


+34 425600 Extension: 806205

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The most important publications of the last few years can be viewed via PubMed (click here).