Information

Bacteria and viruses


Living thing or no living thing?

The vast majority of biologists and scientists believe that viruses are not living things. On the one hand, because a virus does not have its own metabolism. On the other hand, because it can not multiply without a foreign host cell. For viruses 'infiltrate' into other host cells and reprogram them so that only their own virus DNA is read and replicated, instead of the actual DNA of the cell.
In the end, it remains a matter of definition whether viruses are now classified as living beings. For both views, pros and cons arguments can be found. In the following, the virus and bacterium are tabulated:

Table: Comparison of bacteria and virus

bacteriumvirus
origin of nameGreek "bacterion" = chopstickslat. "Virus" = poison
subject areabacteriologyvirology
Number of known speciesabout 7000 known speciesabout 5000 known species
Creature?CreatureNo living thing (Definition dependent!)
size1 - 10 μm0.02-0.2 μm
metabolismOwn metabolismNo own metabolism
proliferationcell divisionMade by the host cell
cytoplasmavailableunavailable
ribosomesavailableunavailable
mitochondriaavailableunavailable
cell wallavailableunavailable
Caused diseasesLyme disease, cholera, chlamydiosis, leprosy, malaria, anthrax, tetanus, typhus, tuberculosis, plagueAIDS / HIV, Ebola, Hepatitis C, herpes, influenza, measles, mumps, glandular fever, rubella, rabies
drugsantibioticsVirostatikum
Effect of antibioticsactsdoes not work
Benefit for humansintegral part of the digestive systemno benefit