We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Disseminated Disease?

By Ray Hawk
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A disseminated disease is a type of disease that has spread from its initial point of origin or contact in the body to other regions that were not its specific target of attack. Usually, it propagates through the blood supply or lymph system that carries white blood cells in plasma to fight infections. There are generally two types that are common in humans — those caused by cancer, where tumor cells spread throughout the body; and infectious diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Infections that are prone to becoming a form of disseminated disease include AIDS, tuberculosis, and subcutaneous skin infections like those that cause gangrene.

Cancer is considered to be a form of disseminated disease, as it uses the bloodstream of the body to perform metastasis, where it transfers copies of itself to other regions. Treating disseminated diseases involving cancer has been done since the 1950s by chemotherapeutic agents, which can kill off tumor cells as they spread. In the 1970s, some antibiotics were also discovered to have beneficial effects against cancer, such as actinomycin-D and bleomycin, so combinations of these agents along with chemotherapy treatments were begun. In combination treatments as of 1965, up to 70% of patients in the new regimen were showing positive reactions when the compound cisplatin was included. This is still a common treatment for cancer as of 2011, with new drug combinations resulting in a cancer-free state for 61% to 83% of patients depending on the cancer type.

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria carried by airborne water droplets that infect the lungs. In rare cases, tuberculosis will become a disseminated disease that spreads to many parts of the body, such as the bones, intestines, and lining of the heart. People most prone to the disseminated form of tuberculosis are those with weak immune systems, such as the elderly, HIV patients, and infants. As with cancer, the disseminated disease form of tuberculosis is treated with a combination of ten or more different chemical agents and antibiotics.

As of 2011, medical science has detected a specific range of infectious organisms that are known to be likely causes of disseminated disease. Amoebae, such as several species of Acanthamoeba can be responsible for causing a disseminated disease even though they don't require a human host to live like viruses do and don't have specific human or animal carriers. The bacteria of M. chelonae, M. avium-intracellulare, and M. abscessus are known to be responsible for pulmonary, soft tissue, and AIDS-related disseminated diseases, respectively. Fungi of the Hyalohyphomycoses group also cause disseminated disease conditions that are most common in immunosuppressed individuals and people who have recently had transplants. Examples of the most common species of fungi in this group that cause infectious diseases include Fusarium spp., Acremonium spp., and Paecilomyces spp.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.