The difference between viruses and bacteria

They are invisible to the human eye and that is exactly why they are often so dangerous: viruses and bacteria. Viruses and bacteria can be pathogenic and the consequences are not uncommon colds, pneumonia, sore throats, diarrhea to herpes, hepatitis B and other diseases. Different diseases are caused by different pathogens. We will show you what is actually the difference between viruses and bacteria and how you can protect yourself from them!

What are the differences between bacteria and viruses?

Both bacteria and viruses can cause diseases, yet there are differences. They are organisms that differ externally and their origins and effects on the human body are not identical. Some of the most important distinguishing features are:

  • The size

Viruses are the simplest and smallest biological form of organization. They are 10 to 100 times smaller than bacteria. To detect them, an ordinary light microscope is no longer sufficient, instead an electron microscope is needed.

  • The structure

Viruses have a very simple structure. They consist only of their genetic material (= genes/genetic information), which is surrounded by a protein envelope. However, the simple structure of viruses does not suggest a simpler treatment.
Bacteria, on the other hand, have a more complex structure. Hereditary material (=genes / genetic information) and (z.B. Ribosomes or mitochondria) are located in the cell, which is surrounded by a complex cell wall that allows exchange with the environment.

  • The metabolism

Bacteria, unlike viruses, are biological forms of organization, as bacteria have their own metabolism. Viruses, on the other hand, depend on the metabolism of a host.

  • Reproduction

The main difference between bacteria and viruses in terms of reproduction is that bacteria, like human cells, reproduce by cell division. Viruses, on the other hand, cannot reproduce on their own. Therefore, they need a host, such as.B. The human body, whose cells help them to reproduce. But viruses can still survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours and be infectious.[1]

What is the danger of bacteria and viruses?

The dangers posed by bacteria and viruses are caused in different ways. Since bacteria have their own metabolism, this results in waste products and these can cause disease in the human body.
The process is different for viruses. Once the viruses have reached a (bspw. human) cell, they insert their genetic information into it. Thus, the cell loses its original function and is forced to produce more viruses. During this process, whole cells can be destroyed and the body’s own defense mechanisms can be undermined for a time.
Multiplication, for both bacteria and viruses, would continue unchecked if the human immune system did nothing to stop it.

How to treat diseases caused by bacteria or viruses?

Because of the different modes of action, bacterial and viral infections are treated differently. Antibiotics are therefore effective against bacteria. The antibiotic agents specifically attack the cell at various vital switching points and thus kill it off. However, since antibiotics are not directed against human cells, they cannot attack virally infected host cells.
For cases of illness caused by viruses, antivirals are available to. They are supposed to fight the invasion and multiplication of viruses. The active substances also have an inhibitory effect on the binding ability of the viruses.

How to protect yourself from viruses and bacteria?

We all want to escape the next cold. Here we have compiled some tips for you on how to protect yourself from pathogenic viruses and bacteria:

Some diseases caused by bacteria or viruses can be partially prevented by using antibiotics Vaccinations protect. How to prepare the immune system to fight off the pathogens. With viruses, however, this is more difficult, because they change their appearance quickly.

Since up to 80% of pathogens are transmitted via the hands, this equally means that the Hygiene of the hands is significant. Especially if you have frequent physical contact with others, you should take care to wash your hands regularly and properly. On our page about hand washing tips you will learn what you should pay attention to when cleaning your hands. If there is no washbasin nearby at the moment, we recommend the Sagrotan hand disinfectant gel Aloe Vera to avoid possible infections. It removes 99.9% of bacteria, without water. Disinfectants/bicides can thereby reduce the risk of infection and also help protect other people in the area from infection.

But even if the pathogen is already on the palm of your hand, it does not necessarily mean that you will get sick. Many bacteria and viruses cannot overcome our skin barrier as long as it is intact. However, these can also enter our body in other ways. Therefore avoid to be in contact with to touch unwashed hands in the face. Because our eyes, nose and mouth are an open door for any pathogens.

Nasty bacteria and viruses can lurk not only in public, but also at home. Especially if you yourself or a family member, have suffered a disease caused by bacteria, you should pay attention to it, surfaces in your house to disinfect. Whether it is the keyboard, the kitchen counter or the bedside table – bacteria can survive for several days or even months on smooth surfaces. To make disinfection as easy as possible, Sagrotan Hygiene Spray is available with a convenient spray head. With this you remove 99.9% of bacteria within a few seconds.

[1] Survival of Influenza Viruses on Environmental Surfaces. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 1982 July. Vol. 146 (1): 47 -51

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