3 min read

Difference Between Viruses, Bacteria, and Endospores

by | Jun 22, 2022

Have you ever gone to the doctor and been told there is nothing they can do for your sickness? This is because you probably had a virus of some sort. Viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics, but they can be prevented with vaccines. While bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics.  

Viruses 

A virus is an infectious microbe typically consisting of DNA or RNA surrounded by a protein coat. These are nonliving molecules that need a host to survive. In other words, a virus cannot replicate alone, it must infect cells, use components of the host cell to then make copies of itself. Viral infections cannot be treated by antibiotics.  

Examples of viral infections: 

  • COVID-19 
  • The Flu 
  • Chickenpox 
  • Zika 

Bacteria 

Bacteria are single-celled organisms that can thrive in a variety of environments from surfaces to inside the human body. More times than not bacteria are seen as harmful but there are good types that live inside our bodies to regulate our immune system and fight off the bad bacteria. However, sometimes the good bacteria are not strong enough to fight off the bad bacteria which is when you get a bacterial infection that can be treated with an antibiotic preventing more bacteria from growing.  

Examples of bacterial infections: 

  • Strep throat 
  • Tuberculosis 
  • Ear infections 
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) 

Endospores 

Endospores are cells that develop within bacteria that are extremely resistant to heat and other harmful conditions. The spores are dormant bodies that carry all genetic material as is found in the vegetative form, but they do not have an active metabolism. However not all bacteria produce endospores because they are not offspring of bacterium. Endospores are the resting stage during the life cycle of some bacteria that form when in response to adverse conditions.  

Examples of endospores: 

  • Bacillus 
  • Clostridium 
  • Oscillospira 

Resources:

https://imb.uq.edu.au/article/2020/04/difference-between-bacteria-and-viruses

https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/germs-viruses-bacteria-fungi.html

Related Posts