Aim: This study aims to determine the serogroup distribution and molecular diagnosis, as well as antimicrobial resistance profiles among Shigella spp. isolated from patients with diarrhea in Kerman, southeast of Iran.
Background: Shigella species are frequent cause of bacterial dysentery worldwide. Previous studies have been reported that S. sonnei and S. flexneri are the most prevalent serogroups in various parts of Iran.
Patients and methods: A total of 624 stool samples were randomly collected from patients with diarrhea from June 2013 to August 2014. Biochemical and serological characterizations were performed for identifying Shigella spp. In addition, the multiplex PCR assay was carried out for the detection and differentiation of three pathogenic Shigella spp. Antibiotic susceptibility testing was performed according to the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines.
Results: Fifty six (9%) Shigella strains were isolated from stool samples. The most common species were S. flexneri 31(55.4%), followed by S .sonnei 18(32.1%) and S. boydii 7(12.5%). S. dysentery was not detected in the present study. All the isolates that identified by serological test as Shigella spp. were confirmed by the multiplex PCR method. The highest rate of resistance was observed for ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole antibiotics with 52(92.9%) resistant, followed by tetracycline 44(78.6%) and cefotaxime 33(58.9%). All Shigella isolates were susceptible to ciprofloxacin. A significant relationship was found between the Shigella species and cefotaxime resistance (p<0.05).
Conclusion: S. flexneri was found as the most prevalent serogroup causing shigellosis. The high rate of resistance to third-generation cephalosporins limits the treatment options available for the management of shigellosis in Kerman, Iran.