- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Flexner's dysentery

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An infectious disease caused by bacteria of the genus Shigella, marked by intestinal inflammation and pain, tenesmus, diarrhoea with mucus and blood in the stools. It is transmitted by food and water contaminated by faecal material. The usual agents are S. sonnei (Sonne's bacillus) and S. dysenteriae (Shiga's or /Shiga-Kruse bacillus).

Harris was the name of the patient from whose faeces Flexner first isolated the causing agent.


  • S. Flexner:
    On the etiology of tropical dysentery.
    Bulletin of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, 1900, 11: 231-242.
  • S. Flexner:
    On the Etiology of Tropical Dysentery. Philadelphia Medical Journal, 1900, 6: 414-424.

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