Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsSTDs · 1 decade ago

What is the difference between bacterial and viral deseases?

For example, Syphilis versus Herpes. What's the difference? May I have a medical definition for this? Just like to know more about STDs just in case you know.

8 Answers

  • IB_08
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. They are typically a few micrometres long and have many shapes including spheres, rods, and spirals. They are extremely small and do not have a nucleus; they are found everywhere. they are like plants because they have cell walls.

    Examples of bacterial STDs: syphillis, chlamydia, gonorrhea

    A virus is a microscopic particle (ranging in size from 20 - 300 nm) that can infect the cells of a biological organism. Viruses can replicate themselves only by infecting a host cell. They therefore cannot reproduce on their own. They are smaller than bacteria and contain their own genetic information.

    Examples of viral STDs: herpes, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), HPV (human papiloma virus)

    *Bacterial infections are caused by bacteria. They infect an organism and multiply by spores. Bacterial infections respond very well to antibiotics. They usually are eradicated from the system if antibotics are taken correctly and in its entirety. Some infections have to be caught early. For example, syphillis (Treponema pallidum) comes in 4 stages: primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary. If treatment isn't sought by the early latent stage, syphillis can have dire consequences leading in insanity, paralysis, and even death. Note that bacterial infections happen more suddenly than viruses.

    Viral infections are caused by viruses. They don't reproduce on their own. Since viruses have their own DNA, they inject their genetic information into the host's cells. Viruses can live in the body for a long time without showing any symptoms. This is why people have HIV and herpes for years and don't even know it. The virus lies dormant in the body and activates according to the body's biological factors. Viruses are so hard to get rid of because they have a protein coat that antibiotics, antigens, or macrophages can penetrate. Viral medications attempt to slow the replication of viruses--which is not a cure. The best way to control a virus is to depend on the body's own immunity.

    To sum everything up, bacterial infections are easier to control than viruses. Hope this helps!

    Source(s): Wikipedia; medical terminology textbook, stedman's medical dictionary
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    They do a lot of the same things, but the difference is that bacteria are organisms, viruses are parasites that can not live outside a host cell. What you say about viruses is wrong, they don't turn other cells into viral cells, thats what cancer is. Viruses use the resources available in a host cell to replicate and spread, this sometimes leaves the cells dead, or damaged which can lead to cancer) but often no such damage. Viruses are killed by the body's immune system, where white blood cells (the lymphocytes) attack and kill viruses, there are also Antiviral drugs, and vaccines available.

  • 1 decade ago

    A virus cannot be treated with antibiotics; they won't have any effect. A bacterial infection can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics.

    I believe there are treatments available for Syphilis and Herpes, although I think you carry the virus with you for the rest of your life once you contract it. You may not have another outbreak, and MAY never pass it along to another person, but it will remain dormant in your system.

    Not sure if this is exactly the information you were looking for but I hope it helps...

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    There are two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both virus types can cause sores around the mouth (herpes labialis) and on the genitals (genital herpes). Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).

    Cold sores sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. The skin around the blisters is often red, swollen, and sore. The blisters may break open, leak a clear fluid, and then scab over after a few days. They usually heal in several days to 2 weeks.

    The herpes simplex virus usually enters the body through a break in the skin around or inside the mouth. It is usually spread when a person touches a cold sore or touches infected fluid—such as from sharing eating utensils or razors, kissing an infected person, or touching that person's saliva. A parent who has a cold sore often spreads the infection to his or her child in this way. Cold sores can also be spread to other areas of the body.

    Luckly there is a cure for herpes

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  • 1 decade ago

    Bacterial infections can be treated and generally cured with antibiotics, unlike viral that just have to run their course and cannot be treated with antibiotics. Best of luck and hope this helps to answer your question. Be careful... and use protection, like a condom for example.

  • 1 decade ago

    Diff between stds or diff between viral and bacterial infections? The question is confusing.

    One is caused by a bacteria and one is caused by a virus.

  • 1 decade ago

    ok viral is something much like a cold.. you can treat it with medicine, but u can't cure it..Bacterial is something you catch from a bacteria and you should get medicine to kill the bacteria..So bacterial is curable viral sometimes isn't or it has to go away on it's own..

  • 1 decade ago


    <microbiology> A sexually transmitted disease caused by the spirochete, Treponema pallidum. May also be acquired prenatally (foetal infection).


    <dermatology> Any inflammatory skin disease caused by a herpes virus and characterised by the formation of clusters of small vesicles. When used alone, the term may refer to herpes simplex or to herpes zoster.

    Those are the medical definitions of both.

    Viruses are capsules of DNA or RNA. They are not "alive." Viruses attack host cells to replcate their genetic material before bursting the cell and moving on.

    Bacteria are single-celled organisms. They reproduce by dividing (mitosis).

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