Shigella – Confirmation and Speciation

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Shigella identification

Pure viable subculture of organism on media that supports the growth1


Pure bacteria in appropriate agar plate, tube or swab for identification and speciation.

Submission and Collection Notes


Enter the name of the organism - Shigella and include the specimen type from which the pathogen was isolated.


Preparation Prior to Transport

Label the specimen container with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Special Instructions

Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C following collection and shipped to PHOL on ice packs.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Shigella confirmation and serotyping are performed Monday to Friday.

Turnaround time is up to 10 days from receipt at PHO laboratory.


Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

Specimens that are positive for Shigella are reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Test Methods

Specimens are tested by conventional bacterial culture. 
Bacterial identification includes biotyping and serotyping  procedures.

Antimicrobial susceptibility testing is routinely performed on Shigella.

Additional Information

For more information, please refer to:

  • Laboratory Guidance for Ontario Public Health Inspectors for Foodborne Outbreak Investigations
  • Laboratory Services for Foodborne Illnesses in Ontario
  • Public Health Inspector’s Guide to the Principles and Practices of Environmental Microbiology
Mis à jour le 21 déc. 2018