While it is often thought to be a third-world problem, shigellosis causes a reported 14,000 cases in the United States each year. The Centers for Disease Control suggests that the actual number may be 20 times higher, as mild cases often aren’t reported or diagnosed.
“In the United States it's probably even more underreported than in developing countries because of access to healthy, clean drinking water," Murphy said. “If you're a healthy individual and you've got access to clean drinking water, chances are you're going to get severe diarrhea, but you're not going to die."
The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Ohio University Research Committee and the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The collaborators on the PLoS ONE paper are University of Nevada, Las Vegas scientists Nicholas Egan and Helen Wing and University of Texas at Austin researcher Shelley Payne.
The paper can be accessed here.