Biennial hyperepidemic shigellosis in an observant Jewish community

R. Calderon-Margalit, S. Navon-Venezia, D. Gefen, Z. Amitai, R. Barda, I. Vulikh, D. Sompolinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We aimed to study patterns of shigellosis in a large observant Jewish community in Israel and to describe local interventions during outbreaks. Surveillance data from the Ministry of Health were used to calculate incidence rates in 1998-2006, both in the city of Bene Beraq and the Tel Aviv district. Information on isolates was collected from the bacteriological laboratory of a community hospital. Public notices and educational conferences conveyed a message to increase personal hygiene and keep ill children at home. During a 9-year period, a clear biennial pattern of outbreaks was noticed. Annual incidence rates ranged between 18 and 353/100 000 population. Shigellosis outbreaks tended to occur in the winter and were attributed to clonally related Shigella sonnei strains. Outbreaks in Bene Beraq preceded those in the other cities of Tel Aviv district, suggesting propagation of disease. In this population with highly endemic as well as superimposed outbreaks of shigellosis, short-term interventions had no lasting effect on prevention; future studies should focus on community-based programmes to avoid anticipated outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-252
Number of pages9
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Epidemiology
  • Outbreaks
  • Public health
  • Shigella


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