In pathology, pathogenesis is the process by which a disease or disorder develops. It can include factors which contribute not only to the onset of the disease or disorder, but also to its progression and maintenance.[1] The word comes from Ancient Greek πάθος (pathos) 'suffering, disease', and γένεσις (genesis) 'creation'.


Types of pathogenesis include microbial infection, inflammation, malignancy and tissue breakdown. For example, bacterial pathogenesis is the process by which bacteria cause infectious illness.[citation needed]

Most diseases are caused by multiple processes. For example, certain cancers arise from dysfunction of the immune system (skin tumors and lymphoma after a renal transplant, which requires immunosuppression), Streptococcus pneumoniae is spread through contact with respiratory secretions, such as saliva, mucus, or cough droplets from an infected person and colonizes the upper respiratory tract and begins to multiply.[2][3][4]

The pathogenic mechanisms of a disease (or condition) are set in motion by the underlying causes, which if controlled would allow the disease to be prevented.[5] Often, a potential cause is identified by epidemiological observations before a pathological link can be drawn between the cause and the disease. The pathological perspective can be directly integrated into an epidemiological approach in the interdisciplinary field of molecular pathological epidemiology.[6] Molecular pathological epidemiology can help to assess pathogenesis and causality by means of linking a potential risk factor to molecular pathologic signatures of a disease.[7] Thus, the molecular pathological epidemiology paradigm can advance the area of causal inference.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Gellman, Marc D.; Turner, J. Rick, eds. (2013). Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. New York: Springer. p. 716. ISBN 978-1-4419-1380-7.
  2. ^ Fox A (2010). General aspects of bacterial pathogenesis. University of South Carolina School of Medicine: Microbiology and Immunology On-line Textbook.
  3. ^ Porta M, Greenland S, Hernán M, dos Santos Silva I, Last JM, eds. (2014). A dictionary of epidemiology (6th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199976737.
  4. ^ "Meningitis Caused by Streptococcus Pneumoniae, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment: A Review - PEXACY". 2022-08-21. Retrieved 2022-10-03.
  5. ^ Last, JM, ed. (2000). A Dictionary of Epidemiology (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-19-977434-0.
  6. ^ Ogino S, Stampfer M (2010). "Lifestyle factors and microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer: the evolving field of molecular pathological epidemiology". J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 102 (6): 365–7. doi:10.1093/jnci/djq031. PMC 2841039. PMID 20208016.
  7. ^ Ogino S, Chan AT, Fuchs CS, Giovannucci E (2011). "Molecular pathological epidemiology of colorectal neoplasia: an emerging transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary field". Gut. 60 (3): 397–411. doi:10.1136/gut.2010.217182. PMC 3040598. PMID 21036793.
  8. ^ Sharma, Dr Anubhav (2022-10-03). "What is Pathogenesis? The Development of a Disease?". Witfire. Retrieved 2022-10-03.

Further reading