Shiga, Kiyoshi

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Shiga, Kiyoshi

Japanese bacteriologist, 1871–1957.

Shiga bacillus

Shigella dysenteriae.

Shiga toxin

An extremely poisonous compound secreted by enteric bacteria that causes hemorrhagic and necrotic colitis. The toxin was formerly called verotoxin because of its effect on Vero cells.


The toxin acts on the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels. The B subunits of the toxin bind to a component of the cell membrane known as Gb3 and enter the cell. When the protein is inside the cell, the A subunit interacts with the ribosomes to stop protein synthesis. Like the ricin toxin, the A subunit of Shiga toxin is an N-glycosidase that modifies the RNA component of the ribosome to stop protein synthesis, leading to the death of the cell. The breakdown of the endothelial cell lining leads to hemorrhage.


The first sign of shiga toxin activity is usually bloody diarrhea. This is because Shiga toxin is usually taken in with contaminated food or water.

Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners


Kiyoshi, Japanese bacteriologist, 1870-1957.
Shigella boydii - a species found in feces of symptomatic individuals.
Shigella dysenteriae - a species causing dysentery in humans and in monkeys. Synonym(s): Shiga bacillus; Shiga-Kruse bacillus
Shigella flexneri - a species found in the feces of symptomatic individuals and of convalescents or carriers; the most common cause of dysentery epidemics and sometimes of infantile gastroenteritis. Synonym(s): Flexner bacillus; paradysentery bacillus
Shigella sonnei - a species causing mild dysentery and also summer diarrhea in children. Synonym(s): Sonne bacillus
Shigella - a genus of nonmotile, aerobic to facultatively anaerobic bacteria (family Enterobacteriaceae), all of whose species produce dysentery.
Shiga bacillus - Synonym(s): Shigella dysenteriae
Shiga-Kruse bacillus - Synonym(s): Shigella dysenteriae
shigellosis - bacillary dysentery caused by bacteria of the genus Shigella.
Medical Eponyms © Farlex 2012
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