Global phylogeography and evolutionary history of Shigella dysenteriae type 1

Elisabeth Njamkepo, Nizar Fawal, Alicia Tran-Dien, Jane Hawkey, Nancy Strockbine, Claire Jenkins, Kaisar A. Talukder, Raymond Bercion, Konstantin Kuleshov, Renáta Kolínská, Julie E. Russell, Lidia Kaftyreva, Marie Accou-Demartin, Andreas Karas, Olivier Vandenberg, Alison E. Mather, Carl J. Mason, Andrew J. Page, Thandavarayan Ramamurthy, Chantal BizetAndrzej Gamian, Isabelle Carle, Amy Gassama Sow, Christiane Bouchier, Astrid Louise Wester, Monique Lejay-Collin, Marie-Christine Fonkoua, Simon Le Hello, Martin J. Blaser, Cecilia Jernberg, Corinne Ruckly, Audrey Mérens, Anne-laure Page, Martin Aslett, Peter Roggentin, Angelika Fruth, Erick Denamur, Malabi Venkatesan, Hervé Bercovier, Ladaporn Bodhidatta, Chien-shun Chiou, Dominique Clermont, Bianca Colonna, Svetlana Egorova, Gururaja P. Pazhani, Analia V. Ezernitchi, Ghislaine Guigon, Simon R. Harris, Hidemasa Izumiya, Agnieszka Korzeniowska-Kowal, Anna Lutyńska, Malika Gouali, Francine Grimont, Céline Langendorf, Monika Marejková, Lorea A. M. Peterson, Guillermo Perez-Perez, Antoinette Ngandjio, Alexander Podkolzin, Erika Souche, Mariia Makarova, German A. Shipulin, Changyun Ye, Helena Žemličková, Mária Herpay, Patrick A. D. Grimont, Julian Parkhill, Philippe Sansonetti, Kathryn E. Holt, Sylvain Brisse, Nicholas R. Thomson, François-Xavier Weill

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Together with plague, smallpox and typhus, epidemics of dysentery have been a major scourge of human populations for centuries1. A previous genomic study concluded that Shigella dysenteriae type 1 (Sd1), the epidemic dysentery bacillus, emerged and spread worldwide after the First World War, with no clear pattern of transmission2. This is not consistent with the massive cyclic dysentery epidemics reported in Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries1,3,4 and the first isolation of Sd1 in Japan in 18975. Here, we report a whole-genome analysis of 331 Sd1 isolates from around the world, collected between 1915 and 2011, providing us with unprecedented insight into the historical spread of this pathogen. We show here that Sd1 has existed since at least the eighteenth century and that it swept the globe at the end of the nineteenth century, diversifying into distinct lineages associated with the First World War, Second World War and various conflicts or natural disasters across Africa, Asia and Central America. We also provide a unique historical perspective on the evolution of antibiotic resistance over a 100-year period, beginning decades before the antibiotic era, and identify a prevalent multiple antibiotic-resistant lineage in South Asia that was transmitted in several waves to Africa, where it caused severe outbreaks of disease.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16027
JournalNature Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2016

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