Compare and contrast bacteria and viruses. Provide at least two similarities and two differences.

Quick answer:

Both bacteria and viruses require a microscope to be seen, and bacteria and viruses can both cause disease. Additionally, bacteria contain ribosomes and viruses do not. Bacteria are also typically 1,000 nanometers long, whereas viruses are generally only 20–250 nanometers long. 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Bacteria and viruses are two totally different organisms although they do share some commonalities.

Some comparisons are is they can both cause diseases and you need special microscopic equipment to see them. The differences far outweigh the differences.

One difference between the two is that bacteria contain ribosomes and viruses do not. Another difference is that bacteria can reproduce in many different places while viruses need a living cell to reproduce. There is also a huge difference is size. Bacteria are on average about 1,000 nanometers long while viruses are approximately 20-250 nanometers long. In addition, antibiotics will get rid of bacterial infections but antibiotics will not get rid of a viral infection.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial