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Differences between Staphylococcus and Streptococcus

MN Editors


Staphylococcus is an genus of Gram-positive bacteriophages within the family of Staphylococcaceae of the family of Bacillales. Under microscope they appear to be as spherical (cocci) and are found clusters that resemble grapes. Staphylococcus species are anaerobic, facultative organisms (capable of growth anaerobically and aerobically).

The name was first coined around 1880, through Scottish surgeon and scientist Alexander Ogston (1844-1929), following the same pattern that was established five years before with the name Streptococcus. It is a combination of with the suffix “staphylo-” and the suffix “coccus” by”coccus” Modern Latin: coccus, which means. “spherical bacterium’ (from Ancient Greek: kokkos romanized as kokkos meaning. ‘grain, seed, berry’).

Staphylococcus comprises at least 40 species. Of those nine, two have subspecies One has three subspecies and the other is divided into four species. A number of species are not able to cause illness and are found on the mucous membranes of human beings and other animals. Staphylococcus is one of them. It has been identified to be nectar-loving microbes. They are also a tiny part of soil microbiome.

There are two species from Staphylococcus (Staphylococcus epidermidis as well as Staphylococcus arlettae) discovered from marine sponges found on Saint Martin’s Island of the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh. Marine sponges are associated with Staphylococcus species are extremely salt-tolerant.


Streptococcus is the name given to a species that includes the gram-positive cocci (plural cocci) or spherical bacterium that is part of the family of Streptococcaceae which is part of the classification of Lactobacillales (lactic acid bacteria) and the family of Firmicutes. Cell division in streptococci happens on a single axis which is why, as they grow they are likely to create chains or pairs that appear bent or twisting. This is in contrast to staphylococci that divide across multiple axes, producing irregular, like grape clusters. Most streptococci have oxidase negative and catalase-negative. Many have facultative anaerobes (capable to grow in an aerobic and anaerobically).

The term was first coined around 1877, by Viennese surgeon Albert Theodor Billroth (1829-1894) by combining with the suffix “strepto–” (from Ancient Greek: streptos romanized as streptos, meaning. “‘pliantly twisting, easily bent’) in conjunction with the suffix “-coccus” (from Modern Latin: coccus, derived from Ancient Greek: kokkos, romanized as kokkos, meaning. ‘grain, seed, berry’.) In 1984, numerous bacteria previously grouped within the group of Streptococcus were split into two genera: Enterococcus as well as Lactococcus. Today, more than 50 species have been identified within this Genus. The genus has been discovered as a part of salivary microbiome.

Differences between Staphylococcus and Streptococcus – Staphylococcus vs Streptococcus

Character Staphylococcus Streptococcus
Cellular Arrangement Spherical cells that form clusters (grape similar to clusters). Ovoid or spherical cells in pairs or chains.
Fission/Division Incorrect divisions on all 3 planes. The division is in one linear direction.
Catalase Test Positive (Presence of catalase enzyme) Negative
Halotolerance Halotolerant. It can tolerate up to 8% salt content. This is inhibited by the salt’s high concentration.
Capnophile No Yes
Common Culture Media Used Mannitol Salt AgarNutrient Agar Blood Agar
Growth on Ordinary Culture Media Possible Unrealistic
Food requirements Simple Complex (fastidious organism)
Colony morphology 3 to 4 millimeters in diameter round, transparent gold-colored colonies ( Staphylococcus aureus) B-haemolysis, 1 millimeter circular very tiny colonies of needle tips ( Streptococcus pyogenes)
Hemolysis Beta hemolysis and no hemolysis. Alpha, beta, or gamma hemolysis.
Species Number More than 40 staphylococcal species have been found so far. More than fifty Streptococcal kinds have been found so far.
Differentiation into groups With the help of coagulase test. Through the use of hemolysis patterns in Blood Agar as well as group-specific Polysaccharide in the cell walls (Lancefield groups).
Species Differentiation – Coagulase test- Novobiocin test of sensitivity- Biochemical tests Type of hemolysisCarbohydrate group of the cell wall (A B, C and so on.)- Bile Solubility Test- CAMPT Test- Optochin Sensitivity Test
Normal Flora Staphylococci are most often found on the skin, as acomnsals. Mucosal membrane of humans and other animals. Most often, it is located inside the oral cavity as well as the respiratory tract.
Pathogens The majority of Staphylococcal species are not pathogens. Streptococcus can cause a variety of ailments.
Pathogenic Species Staphylococcus aureus,Staphylococcus epidermidis,Staphylococcus haemolyticusStaphylococcus hominisStaphylococcus saprophyticus, etc. Streptococcus pyogenes,Streptococcus Agalactiae,Streptococcus bovisStreptococcus pneumoniae, etc.
Virulence Factors Polysaccharide capsule, slime layer, teicholic acid, lipoteicholic acid, adhesive proteins, clumping factor, protein A, exoenzymes ( DNase, hyalurinidase, phosphatase, lipase, exocoagulase, fibrinolysin), enterotoxin, exfoliative toxin, cytotoxins(a-haemolysin b- haemolysin d- haemolysin g-haemolysin, Leukocidin) Lipoteicholic acid, F protein, capsule, exotoxin, streptolysin, (haemolysin), S, and (haemolysin) Exoenzymes (hyaluronidase DNase, streptokinase, and hyaluronidas)
Infections that are caused by Conjunctivitis caused by food poisoning skin diseases, meningitis acquired from the community, Pneumonia, Surgical Site Infection, Wound infections, impetigo and cellulitis, osteomyelitis, toxic shock syndrome and endocarditis. Scarlet fever, Strep throat, Impetigo, Toxic shock syndrome,Cellulitis and necrotizing faciitis (flesh-eating disease) as well as sinusitis, pneumonia, blood infections and meningitis among newborns.
Types of Symptoms The signs of Staphylococcal infections could include chills, fever, blood pressure drops and tender, red, swelling bumps that resemble pimples. The signs of symptoms of Streptococcal infection may include fever, swelling of lymph nodes and throats, soreness itchy and red open sores on the face, confusion and dizziness.
Treatment options Methicillin and penicillin are antibiotics that can be used in the case of resistance. Vancomycin if MRSA. Penicillin / penicillin V amoxicillin

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