14 Differences Staphylococcus And Streptococcus Bacteria (With Comparison Chart)

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Get to understand the clear distinction between Streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria. The basis of distinction include: shape, areas of infection, pathogenic species, areas of infection, division, catalase test, pathogenesis, treatment options and more important, the similarities.

The difference

Shape

Staphylococcus bacteria has multiple axes cellular division, which results in its grape-like shape (spherical cells in clusters) whereas, streptococcus forms a single axis, resulting in its chain-like shape (spherical or ovoid cells in chains).

Common Pathogenic Species

Common species of staphylococcus are staphylococcus aureus, staphylococcus epidermidis, staphylococcus haemolyticus, staphylococcus hominis and staphylococcus saprophyticus. On the other hand, common species of streptococcus are streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus agalactiae, streptococcus bovis and streptococcus pneumoniae.

Number of Species

About 40 staphylococcal species have been identified so far whereas about 50 streptococcal species have been identified so far.

Areas of Infection

A staph infection is more likely to affect skin wounds, whereas a strep infection is more likely to affect the ear, nose and throat.

Examples of Symptoms

The symptoms of staphylococcal infection may include: fever, chills, low blood pressure and red, swollen, tender pimple-like bumps. On the contrary, the symptoms of streptococcal infection may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, rash, confusion, dizziness, sore throat, red and weeping skin sores.

Catalase Test

A catalase test is a microbiological test carried out to demonstrate the presence of an enzyme that catalyses the release of oxygen from hydrogen peroxide.  It is used to differentiate those bacteria that produce an enzyme catalase from non-catalase producing bacteria. When this test is carried out, staphylococcus will produce positive result whereas streptococcus will produce negative result.

Also Read: Difference Between Staphylococcus And Streptococcus

Division

Staphylococci divide in various directions referred to as multiple axes whereas, division of streptococci occurs in one linear direction referred to as single axis.

Species Differentiation Tests

Various species of staphylococcus can be differentiated by caring out the following lab tests: Coagulase test, Novobiocin sensitivity test and biochemical tests. On the other hand, various species of streptococcus can be differentiated by caring out the following lab tests: Types of hemolysis, Bile Solubility test, CAMPT test and Optochin Sensitivity Test.

Pathogenesis                                                                                                                     

Many species of staphylococcus are non-pathogens while many species of streptococcus are pathogens and cause many diseases.

Enriched media (Enrichment Culture)

Enriched media in microbiology is the use of certain growth media to favor the growth of a particular microorganism over others. This is generally done by introducing nutrients or favorable environmental conditions that only allow the growth of an organism of interest. In this regard, Staphylococcus bacteria does not require enriched media, whereas, streptococcus bacteria does require enriched media.

Common Diseases                                                                                                  

Common diseases that are as a result of staphylococcus are food poisoning, bacterial conjunctivitis, skin disease, community acquired meningitis, surgical site infection, wound infection, impetigo, cellulitis and toxic shock syndrome. On the other hand, common diseases that are as a result of streptococcus are strep throat, scarlet fever, flesh eating disease, sinusitis, pneumonia, blood infection and meningitis in newborns.

Treatment Options

Staphylococcal infection can be treated by antibiotics like penicillin or methicillin if resistant. Streptococcal infection can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, Vancomycin or V amoxicillin.

Also Read: Difference Between Salmonella And Shigella

The Differences Between Streptococcus And Staphylococcus Bacteria in Tabular Form

Points of Comparison Staphylococcus Bacteria Streptococcus Bacteria
Shape Staphylococcus bacteria have multiple axes cellular division, which results in its grape-like shape (spherical cells in clusters). Streptococcus forms a single axis, resulting in its chain-like shape (spherical or ovoid cells in chains).  
Common Pathogenic Species Common species of Staphylococcus are  Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus haemolyticus,  Staphylococcus hominis and  Staphylococcus saprophyticus. Common species of Streptococcus are Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus bovis and Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Number of Species About 40 staphylococcal species have been identified so far. About 50 streptococcal species have been identified so far.  
Areas of Infection A staph infection is more likely to affect skin wounds. A strep infection is more likely to affect the ear, nose and throat.  
Examples of Symptoms The symptoms of staphylococcal infection may include: fever, chills, low blood pressure and red, swollen, tender pimple-like bumps. The symptoms of streptococcal infection may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, rash, confusion, dizziness, sore throat, red and weeping skin sores.  
Catalase Test Positive   Negative
Division Staphylococci divide in various directions referred to as multiple axes. Division of streptococci occurs in one linear direction referred to as single axis.  
Species Differentiation Tests Various species of staphylococcus can be differentiated by caring out the following lab tests: Coagulase test, Novobiocin sensitivity test and biochemical tests. Various species of streptococcus can be differentiated by caring out the following lab tests: Types of hemolysis, Bile Solubility test, CAMPT test and Optochin Sensitivity Test.  
Pathogenesis Many species of staphylococcus are non-pathogens. Many species of streptococcus are pathogens and cause many diseases.  
Enriched Media/ Enrichment Culture Staphylococcus bacteria do not require enriched media. Streptococcus bacteria does require enriched media.
Common Diseases Common diseases that are as a result of staphylococcus are food poisoning, bacterial conjunctivitis, skin disease, community acquired meningitis, surgical site infection, wound infection, impetigo, cellulitis and toxic shock syndrome. Common diseases that are as a result of streptococcus are strep throat, scarlet fever, flesh eating disease, sinusitis, pneumonia, blood infection and meningitis in newborns.  
Treatment Options Staphylococcal infection can be treated by antibiotics like penicillin or methicillin if resistant. Streptococcal infection can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, Vancomycin or V amoxicillin.
Hemolysis Exhibit alpha, beta or gamma hemolysis. Exhibit no hemolysis, but sometimes exhibit beta hemolysis.
Types Most of staphylococcus bacteria are facultative anaerobes while others are obligate anaerobes. Most of the streptococcus bacteria are facultative anaerobes.

What are the Similarities Between Staphylococcus and Streptococcus Bacteria?

Also Read: Difference Between Flagella And Cilia

  1. Both are capable of resisting many forms of antibiotics.
  2. Both produce virulent factors such as toxins.
  3. Both do not produce spores
  4. Both can be pathogenic to humans, resulting to serious infections or even death.
  5. Both reproduce asexually through binary fission.
  • Both are non-motile bacteria.
  • Both are gram positive bacteria.
  • Both consist of facultative anaerobes.
  • Both are spherical in shape.