AskDefine | Define pathogenesis

Dictionary Definition

pathogenesis n : the origination and development of a disease

User Contributed Dictionary



πάθος pathos "disease" + γένεσις /genesis "creation".


  1. The origin and development of a disease.
  2. The mechanism whereby something causes a disease.



Extensive Definition

The pathogenesis of a disease is the mechanism by which an etiological factor causes the disease. The term can also be used to describe the development of the disease, such as acute, chronic and recurrent. The word comes from the Greek pathos, "disease", and genesis, "creation".
Types of pathogenesis include microbial infection, inflammation, malignancy and tissue breakdown.
Most diseases are caused by multiple pathogenetical processes together. For example, certain cancers arise from dysfunction of the immune system (skin tumors and lymphoma after a renal transplant, which requires immunosuppression).
Often, a potential etiology is identified by epidemiological observations before a pathological link can be drawn between the cause and the disease.

See also

pathogenesis in German: Pathogenese
pathogenesis in Spanish: Patogénesis
pathogenesis in French: Pathogénèse
pathogenesis in Hungarian: Patogenezis
pathogenesis in Dutch: Pathogenese
pathogenesis in Polish: Patogeneza
pathogenesis in Portuguese: Patogénese
pathogenesis in Russian: Патогенез
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