Difference Between Bacteria and Virus

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3/4/2017 DifferenceBetweenBacteriaandVirus|Classification,Structure,Metabolism
http://pediaa.com/differencebetweenbacteriaandvirus/ 1/11
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DifferenceBetweenBacteriaandVirus
March2,2017 byLakna 7min read
0
MainDifference–Bacteriavs
Virus
Bacteria and viruses are microscopic microbes. Bacteria are
prokaryotes. They are living cells which can be either
beneficial or harmful to other organisms. But, viruses
consideredto be particles thatare somewhere between living
andnonlivingcells.Viruseshavetoinvadethebodyofahost
organisminorder to replicate theirparticles. Therefore, most
virusesarepathogenic.Themaindifferencebetween bacteria
and virus is that bacteria are living cells, reproducing
independentlyandvirusesarenonlivingparticles,requiringahostcellfortheirreplication.
Thisarticleexplains,
1.WhatareBacteria
–Classification,CellularStructure,Metabolism
2.WhatisaVirus
–Structure,Classification
3.WhatisthedifferencebetweenBacteriaandVirus
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3/4/2017 DifferenceBetweenBacteriaandVirus|Classification,Structure,Metabolism
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3/4/2017 DifferenceBetweenBacteriaandVirus|Classification,Structure,Metabolism
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WhatareBacteria
BacteriaareprokaryotesfoundinmosthabitatsontheEarth.Theyareunicellularmicroorganisms.Bacteriacangrow
inharsh conditionslikeacidichot springs, radioactivewasteanddeep portionsofEarth’scrust.Bacteriaform dense
aggregationsbyattachingtosurfaces.Theseaggregationsarematlikestructurescalledbiofilms.
ClassificationofBacteria
Bacteriacanbecategorizeddependingontheirmorphology.Cocciarethesphericalshapedbacteria.Bacillusarethe
rodshapedbacteria. Commashaped bacteria are calledas vibrio andspiralshaped bacteria arespirilla and tightly
coiled ones are called as spirochaetes. Some bacteria live as single cells. But, some of them live in pairs and are
known as diploids. Streptococcus are the bacterial chains. Staphylococcus form ‘bunch of grapes’ like clusters.
FilamentsaretheelongatedbacterialikeActinobacteria.SomearebranchedfilamentssuchasNocardia.
Figure1:Cocci
CellularStructureofBacteria
3/4/2017 DifferenceBetweenBacteriaandVirus|Classification,Structure,Metabolism
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Bacterialcells are surroundedby a cell membrane. The membraneenclosed cytoplasm contains nutrients, proteins,
DNA and other essential components of the cell. Bacteria are prokaryotes and lack membranebound organelles.
Proteinlocalizationiscarriedoutbytheircytoskeleton.Asingle,circularchromosomeisfoundinthenucleoid.This
simplearrangementofbacteriaisreferredtoas‘bacterialhyperstructures’.
Mureinforms a cellwalloutsideofthe bacterialcellmembrane.Thethicker cell wallisclassifiedasgrampositive,
and the thinner cell wall is classified as gramnegative in the gram staining of bacteria. Flagella are used for the
mobility.Fimbriae are the attachment pili.Theyare used in the sexualreproductionofbacteria, which is knownas
conjugation.Theentirecelliscoveredbyglycocalyxwhichformsthecapsule.
Some genera of grampositive bacteria form a resistant, dormant structures called endospores. Endospores contain
littlecytoplasm,DNA and ribosomes, covered by acortex.Theyare resistant to radiation, detergents,disinfectants,
heat,freezing,pressureanddesiccation.
MetabolismofBacteria
Dependingon the carbon source, bacteriacan be divided into twogroups: heterotrophs and autotrophs.Thecarbon
sourceisorganiccompoundsinheterotrophswhereasthecarbonsourceiscarbondioxideinautotrophs.Dependingon
theenergysource,bacteriacanbedividedintothreegroups:phototrophs,lithotrophsororganotrophs.
WhatisaVirus
Avirusisaparticleconsideredasnonlivingform.Viruses
show neither respiration nor metabolism. A virus consists
ofits genetic material, eitherDNAor RNA, covered by a
protein core. Usually, viruses are infectious agents,
requiring a host for their replication. They infect all life
forms including animals, plants, bacteria and archaea.
Viruses can be found in almost every ecosystem on the
Earth. Thus, they are the most abundant biological entity
type. The study of virusesis called virology.Virusescan
bevisualizedbynegativestaining.
StructureofViruses
Thecompletevirusparticle is referred to as thevirion.Virionconsists of genetic materialenclosedbyaprotective
protein coat called as the capsid. The capsid is formed by identical protein units called capsomeres. The capsid
proteinsareencodedbytheviralgenome.Thevirionconsistsofacellmembranederivedfromthehostcellcalledthe
lipid envelope. Viral nucleic acid is associated with nucleoproteins. Viral capsid proteins and nucleoproteins are
collectivelycallednucleocapsid.
An enormous structural diversity in the genome is found in viruses when compared to the diversity of plants or
animals. A virus may contain either DNA or RNA genome. Hence, two groups of viruses can be identified: DNA
3/4/2017 DifferenceBetweenBacteriaandVirus|Classification,Structure,Metabolism
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virusesandRNAviruses.MostvirusescontainRNAgenomes.SinglestrandedRNAgenomescanbefoundinplant
viruses.DoublestrandedDNAgenomescanbefoundinbacteriophages.
ClassificationofViruses
TheICTV (InternationalCommitteeonTaxonomyof Viruses)classificationisthecurrentclassification systemused
forviruses.Thegeneraltaxonomystructureconsistsoforder,family,subfamily,genus,andthespecies.Caudovirales,
Herpesvirales, Ligamenvirales, Mononegavirales, Nidovirales, Picornavirales, and Tymovirales are the currently
established seven orders in viruses. Moreover, viruses are classified depending on the mechanism used to produce
their mRNA. This classification system is called Baltimore classification. According to this classification, seven
groups of viruses can be identified: dsDNA viruses, ssDNA viruses, dsRNA viruses, dsRNA viruses, (+)ss RNA
viruses,()ssRNAviruses,ssRNARTviruses,anddsDNARtviruses.
Onthecontrary,fourgroupsofvirusescanbeidentifieddependingon the morphology: helical, icosahedral, prolate
and envelope. The capsid forms a helical structure around the central axis in helical viruses. Icosahedral viruses
sometimesconsistofachiralicosahedralsymmetry.Inprolate,theicosahedroniselongatedintoafivefoldaxisasin
bacteriophages.Insomeviruses,thecellmembraneformsamodifiedformcalledtheenvelope.Thesetypeofviruses
arereferredtoasenvelopeviruses.Anicosahedralshaped,Simianvirusisshowninfigure2.
Figure2:SimianVirus
DifferenceBetweenBacteriaandVirus
DependenceontheHostforReproduction
Bacteria:Bacteriadonotneedahostorganismforreproduction.
Virus:Virusesreplicateonlyinsidethehost.
3/4/2017 DifferenceBetweenBacteriaandVirus|Classification,Structure,Metabolism
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LivingAttributes
Bacteria:Bacteriaarelivingorganisms.
Virus: Viruses are considered as organic structures which interact with living organisms, rather than a living
organism.
Size
Bacteria:Bacteriaarelarger,about1000nminsize.Theyarevisibleunderlightmicroscope.
Virus:Virusesaresmaller,about20400nminsize.Theyarevisibleundertheelectronmicroscope.
CellWall
Bacteria:BacteriacontainaPeptidoglycan/Lipopolysaccharidecellwall.
Virus:Virusesdon’thaveacellwall.Aproteincoatispresentinstead.
NumberofCells
Bacteria:Bacteriaareunicellular.
Virus:Virusesdon’thavecells.
GeneticMaterial
Bacteria:Asingle,circularchromosomeispresent.
Virus:DNA/RNAstrandispresent.
Ribosomes
Bacteria:Ribosomesarepresent.
Virus:Ribosomesareabsent.
Metabolism
Bacteria:Bacteriashowmetabolismwithinthecell.
Virus:Thereisnometabolisminsidetheviralparticle.
3/4/2017 DifferenceBetweenBacteriaandVirus|Classification,Structure,Metabolism
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Reproduction
Bacteria:Reproductionhappensthroughbinaryfissionandconjugation.
Virus: Virus invades the host cell, makes copies of genetic material and proteins, and releases new particles by
destroyingthecell.
CellularMachinery
Bacteria:Bacteriapossessacellularmachinery.
Virus:Viruslackcellularmachinery.
Benefits
Bacteria:Bacteriacanbeeitherbeneficialorharmful.
Virus:Virusesareusuallyharmful,canbeusefulingeneticengineering.
Infection
Bacteria:Bacteriacauselocalizedinfections.
Virus:Viruscausesystemicinfection.
DurationofIllness
Bacteria:Diseasescausedbybacterialastlongerthan10days.
Virus:Diseasescausedbyviruseslast2to10days.
Fever
Bacteria:Bacteriacausefever.
Virus:Virusesmayormaynotcausefever.
Treatments
Bacteria:BacterialinfectionscanbepreventedbyAntibiotics.
Virus:Spreadofvirusescanbepreventedbyvaccines.
3/4/2017 DifferenceBetweenBacteriaandVirus|Classification,Structure,Metabolism
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Examples
Bacteria:Staphylococcusaureus,Vibriocholera,etc.areexamplesofbacteria.
Virus:HIV,HepatitisAvirus,RhinoVirus,etc.areexamplesofviruses.
Diseases/Infections
Bacteria:Foodpoisoning,gastritis,ulcers,meningitis,pneumonia,etc.arecausedbybacteria.
Virus:AIDS,commoncold,influenza,chickenpox,etc.arecausedbyviruses.
Conclusion
Bacteriaandvirusesarebothmicroscopicmicrobes.Bothofthemcancausediseasesinplantsandanimals.Both
thesetypesofmicrobescontainenzymesrequiredfortheDNAreplicationandproteinsynthesis.But,virusesrequire
ahostorganismfortheproductionofviralcoatproteins.Therefore,theyshouldinvadeasecondorganismfortheir
replication.Ontheotherhand,bacteriacanreproduceindependentlybybinaryfission.Bothmicrobesconsistofa
hugediversitycomparedtootherlifeforms.Thekeydifferencebetweenbacteriaandvirusistheconsiderationof
eachformasalivingornonlivingorganism.
Reference:
1.“Bacteria”.Wikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia,2017.Accessed01March2017
2.“virus”.Wikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia,2017.Accessed01March2017
ImageCourtesy:
1.“108897”(PublicDomain)viaPixabay
2.“Symianvirus”ByPhoebus87atEnglishWikipedia(CCBYSA3.0)viaCommonsWikimedia
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AbouttheAuthor:Lakna
Lakna,agraduateinMolecularBiology&Biochemistry,isaMolecularBiologistandhasa
broadandkeeninterestinthediscoveryofnaturerelatedthings
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  • is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things You May Also Like These Plastinated Specimens -Human & Animal
    • Lakna
    Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things You May Also Like These Plastinated Specimens -Human & Animal...