Difference Between Parasites and Bacteria

Main Difference

The main difference between Parasite and Bacteria is that Parasite is any organism (unicellular or multicellular) that lives on or in a host whereas Bacteria is a small single-celled organism, that is often referred to as microbes.

Parasites vs. Bacteria

Parasites are the organisms which spend most of their life cycle inside the body of other organisms, generally harming their hosts to a definite degree. Bacteria (singular bacterium) are the small and single-celled organisms that arise in every environment, from water to soil, to living organisms, and even in the extreme habitats, for example, sea vents. Some bacteria live as parasites, even though these are relatively few. Parasites are the organisms which can be unicellular or multicellular from a wide series of genera. Conversely, bacteria are the unicellular organisms which may cluster together to make colony or chains of sorts. Parasites are different from bacteria because of the many features that their cells share with human cells in which a defined nucleus is also included. The replication of parasites is a quite strange phenomenon, for example, some parasites only replicate inside a host organism, but some of them can replicate freely in the environment. Like parasites, some bacteria multiply freely in the environment while some replicate within human or animal hosts. Some of the bacteria can double in number after every fifteen minutes, while some take months or weeks to multiply. Parasites cause many diseases such as malaria etc. Bacteria cause a lot of diseases, which range from mild skin irritation to lethal pneumonia.

Comparison Chart

ParasiteBacteria
A parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host.Bacteria are small single-celled organisms that are often referred to as microbes.
Classification
Parasites are classified as prokaryotic or eukaryotic microorganisms.Bacteria are classified as the prokaryotic microorganisms.
Cellular Classification
Parasites are the microorganisms which may be unicellular or multicellular.Bacteria are the unicellular microorganisms.
Types
According to the effect of parasites on humans, there are three types; the protozoa (unicellular organisms, including some bacteria), ectoparasites and helminths (live on the external body surface).According to their shapes, there are five types of bacteria classified as; Cocci (spherical), bacilli (rods), spirochaetes (corkscrew), spirilla (spiral), and vibrios (comma).
Mode of Reproduction
The mode of reproduction of some parasites is cellular division, but more complex and larger parasites may have complicated life cycles involving different intermediate vectors and hosts.Bacteria are the organisms that reproduce by binary fission.
Relation with Host
Parasites are harmful to their hosts to a varying degree.Bacteria may have harmless, useful symbiosis or may be parasitic (pathogenic) to their host.
Abundance
Parasites are only found living on or in a host, but they may be free-living in some life stages.Bacteria are found in different environments, i.e., soil, ice, ocean, water, in living organisms, etc.
Treatment
From serious to asymptomatic disease, the treatment ranges from anti-parasite to anti-biotics drugs or prophylaxis to prevent infection.For treating disease-causing pathogens, anti-biotics are used.
Examples
Plasmodium, tapeworms, fleas, and Giardia are some examples of parasites.Lactobacillus, Staphylococcus, and bifidobacterium are some examples of bacteria.
Relevance
Parasites are the organisms which do not provide any profit to their host, but they feed and grow on the energy which is supplied by their host.Bacteria are important to the functioning of the majority of the ecosystems. They aid in digestion in humans, in nitrogen fixation and nutrient cycling, in manufacturing certain fermented foods like yogurt and soy sauce, in farming, in mining certain metals and in a lot of other fields like biotechnology.
Life History
Parasites are the organisms that are either completely dependent on their host for their life cycle or only a part it.Bacteria reproduce by binary fission, result in two daughter cells, which are genetically identical to the parent bacterial cell. Some bacteria may form endospores, that are very resistant cells and remain dormant until favorable conditions occur.

What is Parasite?

Parasites are any organism, from unicellular to multicellular organisms, which live in or at the host, negatively impacting the host to some degree because they feed on the host tissue. They can live with one host or have a complex life cycle that involves different hosts.

What is Bacteria?

Bacteria are small single-celled organisms known as microbes. These unicellular organisms can join together to form chains or colonies. Although classified as living organisms, bacteria have a simple design; they do not have a nuclear membrane and membrane-bound organelles. It also has a cell wall, sometimes referred to as a cytoskeleton. DNA is found in the cytoplasm, where it is arranged in a circular circle. A second DNA circle may exist, known as a plasmid. These plasmids usually contain genes that offer several benefits for bacteria, for example, resistance to certain antibiotics.

Key Differences

  1. The parasite lives on or in a host, whereas, bacteria is a small single-celled organism, that is referred to as microbes.
  2. Parasites are classified as either prokaryotic microorganisms or eukaryotic microorganisms; on the other hand, bacteria are classified as the prokaryotic microorganisms.
  3. Parasites are the microorganisms which may be unicellular or multicellular. Conversely, bacteria are the unicellular microorganisms.
  4. According to the effect of parasites on humans, there are three types of them that are; the protozoa (unicellular organisms, including some bacteria), ectoparasites and helminths (live on the external body surface), on the flip side, according to their shapes, there are 5 types of bacteria classified as; Cocci (spherical), bacilli (rods), spirochaetes (corkscrew), spirilla (spiral), and vibrios (comma).
  5. The mode of reproduction of some parasites is cellular division, but more complex and larger parasites may have complicated life cycles involving different intermediate vectors and hosts, on the other side, bacteria are the organisms that reproduce by binary fission.
  6. Parasites are harmful to their hosts to a varying degree, while, bacteria may have harmless, useful symbiosis or may be parasitic (pathogenic) to their host.
  7. Parasites are only found living on or in a host, but they may be free-living in some life stages, on the other hand, bacteria are found in different environments, i.e., soil, ice, ocean, water, in living organisms, etc.
  8. From serious to asymptomatic disease, the treatment ranges from anti-parasite to anti-biotics drugs or prophylaxis to prevent infection, whereas, for treating disease-causing pathogens, anti-biotics are used.
  9. Parasites are the organisms which do not provide any profit to their host, but they feed and grow on the energy which is supplied by their host, while, bacteria are important to the functioning of the majority of the ecosystems. They aid in digestion in humans, in nitrogen fixation and nutrient cycling, in manufacturing certain fermented foods like yogurt and soy sauce, in farming, in mining certain metals and in a lot of other fields like biotechnology.
  10. Parasites are the organisms that are either completely dependent on their host for their life cycle or only a part it, conversely, bacteria reproduce by binary fission, result in two daughter cells which are genetically identical to the parent bacterial cell. Some bacteria may form endospores, that are very resistant cells and remain dormant until favorable conditions occur.

Comparison Video

YouTube video

Conclusion

Above discussion summarizes that parasites are the unicellular or multicellular organisms that live on a host and are harmful to it whereas, bacteria are the unicellular organisms that may be beneficial or harmful.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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