What Is The Difference Between Viruses And Bacteria

What Is The Difference Between Viruses And Bacteria


Both viruses and bacteria are small organisms that can harm people. These bacteria may share some traits, yet they also differ greatly from one another. Viruses are usually considerably smaller than bacteria, which can be seen under a light microscope. When seen under an electron microscope, viruses can be seen. They are around 1,000 times smaller than bacteria. Single-celled organisms called bacteria reproduce asexually on their own, separate from other living things. A live cell is necessary for a virus to proliferate. 

Where Are They Found?


Bacteria can be found practically anywhere, even on inorganic surfaces, in other species, and on other organisms themselves. They spread infection to eukaryotic organisms like fungus, plants, and animals. Extremophile bacteria are those that can thrive in hostile conditions, including the stomachs of humans and animals as well as hydrothermal vents.
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Similar to bacteria, viruses are present in practically every environment. They are pathogens that affect a wide range of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, including bacteria, archaea, animals, and plants. Extremophile viruses, like those that infect archaeans, have genetic modifications that help them endure harsh environmental conditions. 
Viruses can survive on surfaces and everyday objects for a variety of times (from seconds to years), depending on the virus.

Viral And Bacterial Structure:


Prokaryotic cells that exhibit all the traits of living things are known as bacteria. Organelles and DNA are found inside the cytoplasm of bacterial cells, which are also protected by a cell wall. These organelles carry out crucial tasks that allow bacteria to reproduce and absorb energy from their surroundings.


Viruses exist as nucleic acid particles (DNA or RNA) encased in a protein shell, but they are not thought of as cells. Some viruses also have a second membrane termed an envelope, which is made up of phospholipids and proteins taken from the host cell's cell membrane. This envelope aids the virus's entry into a new cell by membrane fusion and aids its escape through budding. 
Normally, non-enveloped viruses enter a cell through endocytosis and leave through exocytosis or cell lysis. Virus particles, also called virions, occur between living and non-living things. Despite having genetic material, they lack the organelles and cell walls needed for cellular respiration and reproduction. The only source of reproduction for viruses is a host. 

Size And Shape Of Bacteria: 


There are many different sizes and shapes of bacteria. Cocci (spherical), bacilli (rod-shaped), spiral, and vibrio are examples of typical bacterial cell morphologies. The average size range of bacteria is 200–1000 nanometers (1 nanometer equals 1 billionth of a meter). The biggest bacterial cells are easily observable. Thiomargarita namibiensis, regarded as the largest bacteria in the world, has a maximum diameter of 750,000 nanometers (0.75 millimeters). 


The quantity of nucleic acid and proteins a virus has determines its size and structure. Typically, the capsids of viruses are spherical (polyhedral), rod-shaped, or helically formed. A protein tail linked to the capsid and tail fibers extending from it are features of the complex forms of some viruses, such as bacteriophages. In comparison to bacteria, viruses are significantly smaller. They typically have a diameter between 20 and 400 nanometers. 
The Pandora viruses, which are the largest known viruses, have a size of about 1000 nanometers, or a full micrometer. 

How They Reproduce? 

What Is The Difference Between Viruses And Bacteria


Binary fission is a method of asexual reproduction that is frequently used by bacteria. A single cell replicates and splits into two identical daughter cells during this process. Bacteria are capable of exponential growth when the right conditions are present.


In contrast to bacteria, viruses can only proliferate when a host cell is present. Viruses must exploit the organelles of the host cell to replicate because they lack the organelles required for the replication of viral components. The virus injects its genetic material (DNA or RNA) into a cell during viral reproduction. The instructions for creating the components of a virus are found in the viral genes, which are duplicated. 
After the parts are put together and the viruses have had time to develop, they rupture the cell and spread to neighboring cells. 

Bacterial And Viral-Related Diseases:


While the majority of germs are unharmful and some even help humans, while other bacteria can make people sick. Toxins produced by pathogenic microorganisms that cause disease kill cells. They have the potential to spread diseases like meningitis, pneumonia, and tuberculosis as well as food poisoning. Antibiotics, which are highly effective at killing germs, are a treatment option for bacterial illnesses. 
But some bacteria (including MRSA and E. coli) have developed resistance to antibiotics as a result of their excessive use. Some of them have even earned the moniker "superbugs" due to their development of antibiotic resistance. Additionally helpful in halting the spread of bacterial diseases are vaccines. Regularly washing and drying your hands properly is the greatest approach to keep yourself free of bacteria and other germs.


Viral pathogens are responsible for a number of diseases, such as the flu, rabies, Ebola virus disease, Zika virus disease, and HIV/AIDS. Viruses can result in persistent infections, where they lay latent before becoming active again. Some viruses have the ability to alter host cells in a way that promotes the growth of cancer. Cancers like liver cancer, cervical cancer, and Burkitt's lymphoma have been linked to these cancer viruses in the past. Viral infection is not treated by antibiotics. 
Typically, medications used to treat viral infections target the symptoms of the infection rather than the virus itself. Some types of viral infections are treated with antiviral medications. Usually, viruses are defeated by the host's immune system. Vaccines can be used to shield against viral infections as well. 

Differences Between Bacteria And Viruses:




Cell Type

Prokaryotic Cells

Acellular (not cells)


200-1000 nanometers

20-400 nanometers


Organelles and DNA within a cell wall

DNA or RNA within a capsid, some have an envelope membrane

Cells They Infect

Animal, Plant, Fungi

Animal, Plant, Protozoa, Fungi, Bacteria, Archaea


Binary fission

Rely on host cell


E.coliSalmonella, Listeria, Mycobacteria, Staphylococcus, Bacillus anthracis

Influenza viruses, Chickenpox viruses, HIV, Polio virus, Ebola virus

Diseases Caused

Tuberculosis, Food poisoning, Flesh-eating disease, Meningococcal meningitis, Anthrax

Chickenpox, polio, flu, measles, rabies, AIDS



Antiviral drugs

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