Bacteria and viruses are two types of microscopic organisms that can cause infectious diseases. While bacteria and viruses are similar in some ways, they also differ in others. To answer the question of which of the following statements regarding bacteria and viruses is false, it is important to understand the distinctions between them.
Bacteria are larger than viruses, typically ranging between 0.2 and 10 microns in size. This means that bacteria can only be seen with a microscope. Viruses, on the other hand, are much smaller than bacteria and range between 0.02 and 0.3 microns. This size difference is important to note, as it means that viruses must be viewed using an electron microscope in order to be seen.
Bacteria contain a cell wall, cell membrane, and genetic material. Viruses, however, have some structure, such as a protein shell, but are much simpler than bacteria and do not contain a cell wall or cell membrane. Additionally, viruses contain only a single strand of genetic material, typically in the form of DNA or RNA.
Bacteria reproduce by dividing in two. This process, known as binary fission, is relatively simple and does not require the presence of another organism. Viruses, on the other hand, must hijack the reproductive machinery of another organism to reproduce. This reproductive process is known as lysogeny and is dependent on a host organism.
Due to the differences between bacteria and viruses, the false statement that all infectious diseases are caused by viruses and bacteria is false. While viruses and bacteria are responsible for many infectious diseases, there are also other types of pathogens that can cause illness.