genus Coccus



Cocci (singular - coccus, from the Latin coccinus (scarlet) and derived from the Greek kokkos (berry) ) are any microorganism (usually bacteria) whose overall shape is spherical or nearly spherical. Describing a bacterium as a coccus, or sphere, distinguishes it from bacillus, or rod. This is the first of many taxonomic traits for identifying and classifying a bacterium according to binomial nomenclature.


Aggregations of coccoid bacteria often occur and these forms have specific names as well; listed here are the basic forms as well as representative bacterial genera:

Clinical significance

Important human pathogens caused by coccoid bacteria include staphylococci infections, some types of food poisoning, some urinary tract infections, toxic shock syndrome, gonorrhea, as well as some forms of meningitis, throat infections, pneumonias, and sinusitis.


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