Differences Between Bacteria and Viruses

Although bacteria and viruses both are very small to be seen without a microscope, there are many differences between Bacteria and Viruses.

Some of the Differences Between Bacteria and Viruses are as follows:

1SizeLarger (1000 nm)Smaller (20-400 nm)
2Cell WallPeptidoglycan or LipopolysaccharideNo cell wall. Protein coat present instead.
4Number of cellsOne cell (Unicellular)No cells
5Living/Non-LivingLiving organismsBetween living and non-living things.
6DNA and RNADNA and RNA floating freely in cytoplasm.DNA or RNA enclosed inside a coat of protein.
8ReproduceAble to reproduce by itselfNeed a living cell to reproduce
9ReproductionFission- a form of asexual reproductionInvades a host cell and takes over the cell causing it to make copies of the viral DNA/RNA. Destroys the host cell releasing new viruses.
10Duration of illnessA bacterial illness commonly will last longer than 10 days.Most viral illnesses last 2 to 10 days.
11FeverA bacterial illness notoriously causes a fever.A viral infection may or may not cause a fever.
12Cellular MachineryPossesses a cellular machineryLack cellular machinery
13Under MicroscopeVisible under Light Microscope.Visible only under Electron Microscope.
14BenefitsSome bacteria are beneficial (Normal Flora)Viruses are not beneficial. However, a particular virus may be able to destroy brain tumors. Viruses can be useful in genetic engineering.
15TreatmentAntibioticsVirus does not respond to antibiotics.
16ExamplesStaphylococcus aureus, Vibrio cholerae, etcHIV, Hepatitis A virus, Rhino Virus, etc
17Diseases/InfectionsFood poisoning, gastritis and ulcers, meningitis, pneumonia, etcAIDS, common cold, influenza, chickenpox, etc

Similar Posts:

15 thoughts on “Differences Between Bacteria and Viruses”

    • Not necessarily, for example, viruses sizes are nanometers, which is a billionth of a meter and they still cause lots of damage to us

  1. if bacteria and viruses are so different ,why do most diseases caused by different micro- organism’s have the same signs and symptoms

    • its not really the same(maybe we look at long term affects) ,also signs and symptoms not the standard thing that we use to find the difference between them

  2. If they do not require a cell to exist would it not be true they can exist on surfaces for an extended period of time in crystalline form?

    • Different viruses have different viabilities (‘life’ spans, or times during which they can infect a host). The viability of a virus depends on the porosity of the surface. On clothing, cloth, textured products, and paper (more porous surfaces), a virus may live only hours or a couple of days. On smooth surfaces like marble, tile, stainless steel, a toilet seat, your kitchen tabl… the virus may last days or even up to 3 weeks. Cleaning those surfaces with soap and water will kill most viruses; adding bleach or hydrogen peroxide ensures the demise of virtually all viruses by breaking the protein shell and destroying the RNA or DNA chain.

  3. More about symptoms–chills and clamminess for instance. (trying to tell what I have and how long before I should take antibiotics.

    Also breathing ?

    • No 12 answers that. Viruses do not possess cellular machineries. They live in protein coats. Simply put, they do not require cells to exist.

    • They depend on the host cell for their survival , and remember they are between living and non living . When they are outside the host cell can still survive as crystalline .

    • virus is inert outside the host it’s just like chemical in the test tube. most of the time virus depend on host energy, and machinery.


Leave a Comment