Shigella was first discovered in 1897 and is a major causative agent of dysenteric diarrhea. The number of affected patients has decreased globally because of improved sanitary conditions; however, Shigella still causes serious problems in many subjects, including young children and the elderly, especially in developing countries. Although antibiotics may be effective, a vaccine would be the most powerful solution to combat shigellosis because of the emergence of drug-resistant strains. However, the development of a vaccine is hampered by several problems. First, there is no suitable animal model that can replace human-based studies for the investigation of the in vivo mechanisms of Shigella vaccines. Mouse, guinea pig, rat, rabbit, and nonhuman primates could be used as models for shigellosis, but they do not represent human shigellosis and each has its own weaknesses. However, a recent murine model based on peritoneal infection with virulent S. flexneri 2a is promising. Moreover, although the inflammatory responses and mechanisms such as pathogenassociated molecular patterns and danger-associated molecular patterns have been studied, the pathology and immunology of Shigella are still not clearly defined. Despite these obstacles, many vaccine candidates have been developed, including live attenuated, killed whole cells, conjugated, and subunit vaccines. The development of Shigella vaccines also demands considerations of the cost, routes of administration, ease of storage (stability), cross-reactivity, safety, and immunogenicity. The main aim of this review is to provide a detailed introduction to the many promising vaccine candidates and animal models currently available, including the newly developed mouse model.
Keywords: Animal model, Immune modulation, Shigella vaccine, Shigellosis, Vaccine candidate, Vaccine efficacy.