The main difference between Staphylococcus and Streptococcus is that Staphylococcus is a type of gram-positive bacteria that are found in clusters whereas streptococcus is gram-positive bacteria that form a short chain of round cells.
Staphylococcus vs. Streptococcus
Bacteria is a cosmopolitan microorganism that is found almost everywhere in the world. It may or may not be pathogenic. Bacteria are divided into different types on a different basis. Based on gram staining technique, bacteria are divided into two types, i.e., gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Staphylococcus and Streptococcus are also two types of gram-positive bacteria. Staphylococcus is the bacteria that are found in grape-like clusters while streptococcus is found in the round chain of cells. Most of the staphylococcus are nonpathogens whereas streptococcus is mostly pathogens. Staphylococci are present on the skin, but streptococci are present in the respiratory tract and cause multiple diseases.
What is Staphylococcus?
The word “Staphylococcus” is derived from the Greek word“staple” which stands for a bunch of grapes and “kokkos” which means berry. Under the microscope, it appears round in shape and present in grape-like a cluster. It belongs to Phylum Firmicutes. There are 40 known species of staphylococcus that are mostly found in the skin and mucous membrane. They are mostly harmless for humans and other organisms. Some Staphylococcus has the ability to produce a special enzyme known as catalase. This enzyme converts hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into water and oxygen and helps in blood clotting: S. aureus, S. hyicus, S. Schleifer, S. intermedius. S. aureus and S. delphini are catalase positive, i.e., they have the ability to produce catalase enzyme. Some Staphylococcus is harmful and may cause infection directly or by producing toxin. Its infection includes the furuncle, boil with pus and the infected area become swollen, painful and inflamed. It can be treated using antibiotics. Its infection can be prevented by cleanliness, maintaining hygiene on wounds, scrapes, and cuts, proper handwashing and by avoiding close contacts with infected individuals.
What is Streptococcus?
The word “Streptococcus” is derived from the Greek word “streptos” which means ‘easily bent or twisted,’ and kokkos stands for ‘berry.’ Streptococcus is also gram-positive bacteria that are found in the form of a short chain of round cells. It also belongs to Phylum Firmicutes. They do not have catalase enzyme and are facultative anaerobes. There are 50 species of this genera recognized so far. Streptococcus are divided into two groups, i.e., group A and group B. Group A includes bacteria that causes scarlet throat, impetigo (skin infection), cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease), strep throat and toxic shock syndrome. Group B includes those that can cause pneumonia, meningitis in newborn, urinary tract infections and blood infections. These diseases are also treated with antibiotics.
- Staphylococcus are gram-positive bacteria that are found in grape-like clusters whereas streptococcus is gram-positive bacteria that form a short chain of round cells.
- Forty species of staphylococcus have been identified, on the other hand, 50 species of streptococcus yet found.
- Staphylococci divide in multiple directions (multiple axes) conversely streptococcus divides in one linear direction (single axis).
- Staphylococcus does not require enriched media to grow on the flip side; Streptococcus required enriched media for its growth.
- Staphylococci are present on the skin while Streptococci are present in the respiratory tract.
- There is no hemolysis or beta hemolysis in case of Staphylococcus whereas streptococcus may cause either alpha or beta or gamma hemolysis.
- Staphylococcus causes Food poisoning, bacterial conjunctivitis, skin diseases, surgical site Infection, wound infection, impetigo, cellulitis, community-acquired meningitis, and toxic shock syndrome but streptococcus causes strep throat, Scarlet fever, Impetigo, Toxic shock syndrome, sinusitis, blood infections, pneumonia, Cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease), and meningitis in newborns.
- The pathogenic species of Staphylococcus are Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus haemolyticus, Staphylococcus hominis, and Staphylococcus saprophyticus, etc. while the pathogenic species of streptococcus are Streptococcus bovis, Streptococcus agalcitae, Streptococcus pneumonia, and Streptococcus pyogenes, etc.
- Staphylococcus can be diagnosed by coagulase test, catalase test and novobiocin sensitivity test whereas streptococcus can be diagnosed by bile solubility test, optochin sensitivity test (S. pneumoniae), catalase test, bacitracin test, CAMP test and test of hemolysis, etc.
- Catalase test shows positive results in case of Staphylococcus whereas It shows negative results in the case of streptococcus.
From the above discussion, it is summarized that both staphylococcus and streptococcus are round-shaped gram-positive bacteria, but Staphylococcus has cells arranged in clusters while in streptococcus cells are arranged in a round chain-like structure. Moreover, they also vary in their plane of division and medicinal importance, etc.