Systemic means affecting the entire body, rather than a single organ or body part.
An infection that is in the bloodstream is called a systemic infection.
An infection that affects only one body part or organ is called a localized infection.
Update Date 1/21/2013
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.