How do fungi and bacteria differ?


Quick Answer

According to Antimicrobial Test Laboratories, bacteria are almost always rod-shaped, whereas fungi can be found in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Bacteria are also considered prokaryotic, meaning they do not have a membrane-bound nucleus. Fungi, on the other hand, are eukaryotic, which means they do have a distinct nucleus.

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Full Answer

While many types of bacteria live in harmony with humans and actually make life better, some can cause illness and even death. Since bacteria get energy from sugars, proteins and fats just like humans and animals, they often form symbiotic relationships with humans and animals. Some bacteria reproduce rapidly and can double in number in as little as 15 minutes, However, there are forms of slow-growing bacteria, which can take weeks or months to reproduce.

Most commonly found in the environment in the form of molds and environmentally resistant spores, fungi can cause humans to get sick as well. When this occurs, a common fungus called yeast is usually involved. Yeast infections can cause a number of different types of skin conditions, including thrush. If fungi is inhaled, it can cause respiratory problems and may even lead to pneumonia. This is especially true in people with suppressed immune systems, such as infants and the elderly.

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