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Differences between viruses and bacteria

At the microbiological level, there are a variety of organisms that can affect other living organisms such as plants, animals and human beings. We often hear that, for example, the flu is a viral disease and that bronchitis is a bacterial disease. However, often the difference is not clear or we do not know why this is so.

In fact, we can be quite sure that at some time in our lives we have incorrectly used the terms viruses and bacteria to name the person responsible for a disease. However, in this article we will mention the differences between these two causes of diseases in living beings so that we can distinguish them easily.

Virus Definition

We can refer to viruses as infectious people, without cellular structure , that can only reproduce in the cells of other living beings. That is why viruses require a host to survive. Viruses are responsible for various diseases, because they can affect virtually all types of living organisms from bacteria to humans, plants and animals.

There are a wide variety of viruses, some more serious than others, because the infection caused by them generally spreads throughout the body. Additionally, antibiotics have no effect on them, fortunately, today, there are some antivirals for certain infections that are deadly such as hepatitis and for retroviruses such as HIV, although for now they cannot cure the disease but they can -stop- their progress in a certain way.

Definition of Bacteria

Bacteria are known as unicellular microorganisms that have different consequences in everyday life. Many of the bacteria are necessary for life, such as the bacteria that are part of the intestinal flora of humans and other animals. They exist in great abundance on the planet and are capable of surviving in the most extreme environments.

Many of the bacteria are responsible for different infections and although these infections remain localized to the place in the body where they started, some can be fatal. These infections are treated with antibiotics, substances secreted by other microorganisms, which kill bacteria and prevent their growth and the development of infection.

Differences between viruses and bacteria:

Virus Bacterium
They are acellular infectious agents (without cellular structure), which interact with the cells of other organisms in order to survive, causing some disease. They are unicellular organisms that can cause diseases in living beings, however, some are necessary for life such as those that inhabit the intestines (intestinal flora).
Viruses reproduce by infecting a host cell where they carry out their reproductive cycle, multiplying and killing the cell, generating new viruses and then infecting other cells and continuing the process. The batteries reproduce asexually, by binary fission giving rise to two daughter cells, causing exponential growth, in some cases.
Treatment of viral infections is done with antivirals and antiretrovirals (for retroviruses such as HIV). Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics.
Usually the infection spreads throughout the body using the bloodstream. The bacterial infection is localized, that is, it remains in the part of the body where it started.

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