15 Difference Between Bacterial Cell and Human Cell

Bacteria are some of the robust living cells on the earth.

They are immortal creatures i.e. they do not die as such except under harsh conditions.

They are quite primitive living organisms on the earth and are of various types.

They cause various diseases to human, plants and animals.

While some of them are friendly and useful bacteria.

The difference between bacterial cell and human cell are quite many.

They are single cell organisms and their cell is less developed compared to human cell.

But interestingly that single cell can perform all of its functions.

Hence we find some interesting differences in between them.

Before you go into details, kindly check cell and its organelles

Difference Between Bacterial Cell and Human Cell

DifferencesHuman cellBacterial cell
CellHuman cells are in a group and not isolated. It is dependent on other cells for survival.Cell is isolated and Independent. It survives as an individual on its own.
Cell wallThe wall is absentThick protective cell wall is present covering the whole cell.
Cell membrane is made ofLipid bi-layer with phosphate molecules. It is hydrophilic to external and hydrophobic in the inner wall.Is made of phospholipid bilyaer. But the memebrance lacks sterols.
Cell wall hasCytoplasmic bridges are present which help in inter-cellular transport in between neighboring cells.No cytoplasmic bridges as there is only one cell.
Cell shapeOnly spherical or ovalCells can be of different shapes
Cell appendages (External parts)Absent mostly. Except for ciliated cells in respiratory tract & gut.Present. Flagella for movement, pili for sexual reproduction.
NucleusProminent nucleus with nuclear membrane. So called as an eukaryote type.Nucleus is Absent. Instead nuclear content like DNA are present in cytoplasm. No distinct nucleus, so called as prokaryote
DNA synthesis & ElongationEnzyme Topoisomerase is involvedEnzyme DNA Gyrase is involved.
RNA (ribo nucleic acid)80 s type with 60 s and 40 s sub units.70 s type with 50s and 30s type sub units.
Capsule (a form of inactive cell)AbsentBacterial cell under goes to form capsule which is resistant to harsh condition of drought and temperature. Can give back live bacteria in good conditions.
Cell deathHuman cell is mortal. Cell dies by either apoptosis or necrosis.Bacterial cell is immortal. It never dies unless sterilized. Divides for new offspring’s. Even in harsh conditions it tries to survive as spore form (dormant)
NutritionHeterotrophs. Depends on the food supplied by blood from body gut.Autotrophic, heterotrophic, parasitic etc. Autotrophs manufacture their own food. Disease causing bacteria are parasites & live on other organisms.
ReproductionAsexual reproduction only.Both sexual and asexual reproduction happens
Cell division occurs byAll cells undergo mitosis. Only ovum and sperm formation by meiosis. While nerve cells never divide.Mitosis and meiosis. Mitosis gives two cells and meiosis gives fur cells
MovementCannot move, except for sperm and ova. While blood cells flow in the fluid.Can move on their own with flagella for normal needs.

These differences are the key for treatment of bacterial diseases by use of antibiotics.

Without such differences it would be difficult to target and kill bacterial cells once they get into human body.

Human cell

Human nerve cell

Bacterial cell vs human cell

Bacterial cell


The bacteria have peculiar differences which scientists use as a target. Antibiotics in the human body act in such a way that only bacterial cells are killed while sparing human cells.  Some of the common targets to achieve this safe drug action are the cell wall, 70s ribosomes, DNA gyrases etc. etc.

Ex: Penicillin kills bacteria by acting on their cell wall. Since human cell lacks cell wall, human cells are not affected by it. Similarly streptomycin acts only on 70s ribosomes and not on the 80s so human cell are free from the lethal action of streptomycin.

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One Response

  1. danica abaldo

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