Differences Between Bacteria and Viruses 4.18/5 (608)

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.

Differences Between Bacteria and Viruses

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





1 Size Larger (1000 nm) Smaller (20-400 nm)
2 Cell Wall Peptidoglycan or Lipopolysaccharide No cell wall. Protein coat present instead.
3 Ribosomes Present Absent
4 Number of cells One cell (Unicellular) No cells
5 Living/Non-Living Living organisms Between living and non-living things.
6 DNA and RNA DNA and RNA floating freely in cytoplasm. DNA or RNA enclosed inside a coat of protein.
7 Infection Localized Systemic
8 Reproduce Able to reproduce by itself Need a living cell to reproduce
9 Reproduction Fission- a form of asexual reproduction Invades 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.
10 Duration of illness A bacterial illness commonly will last longer than 10 days. Most viral illnesses last 2 to 10 days.
11 Fever A bacterial illness notoriously causes a fever. A viral infection may or may not cause a fever.
12 Cellular Machinery Possesses a cellular machinery Lack cellular machinery
13 Under Microscope Visible under Light Microscope. Visible only under Electron Microscope.
14 Benefits Some 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.
15 Treatment Antibiotics Virus does not respond to antibiotics.
16 Examples Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio cholerae, etc HIV, Hepatitis A virus, Rhino Virus, etc
17 Diseases/Infections Food poisoning, gastritis and ulcers, meningitis, pneumonia, etc AIDS, common cold, influenza, chickenpox, etc

Differences Between Bacteria and Viruses

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The Author

Sagar Aryal

I am Sagar Aryal, a passionate Microbiologist and the Scientific Blogger. I did my Master's Degree in Medical Microbiology and currently working as a Lecturer at Department of Microbiology, St. Xavier's College, Kathmandu, Nepal. I am particularly interested in research related to Medical Microbiology and Virology. Find me on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin !!!


Add a Comment
  1. Really helpful information

  2. Dr David Makanjuola

    Very useful and informative. Well done.

  3. Good explanation in a simple way..

  4. i’m in 6th grade learning this get to my level

  5. Thankyou Sagar

  6. Proper answer 🙂

  7. Ellie the omnivorou

  8. Thanks for the great info 🙂

  9. Get Reckted krofjrigjvnrigntgr

  10. please I need books on
    therapeutic communication,
    basic nursing,
    nursing informatics
    thanks you

    1. Bio I’m in eighth grade learning this get to my level

      1. Gang Gang!!!!!!

  11. very nice sir undrstand essly virus and bactiria

  12. Very nice sr.
    please enter your blogger site

  13. if there is no cell in viruse how does it possible to exis without cell

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

  14. where da hoes @

    1. Abdul Assad Bjaar Kareem

      Right here 😉

  15. how we can dawnload books of microbiology.


  17. Hello Sagar about infection need aclaration for example oral herpes simple y Too abour living respect at the virus your references.
    Thank you

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