Difference Between Staphylococcus and Streptococcus

Staphylococcus vs Streptococcus

Streptococcus and Staphylococcus are two bacterial genera, which are gram-positive and have the same spherical shaped cells called cocci. Even though their cells are in similar shape, the arrangements of the cells between the two genera have prominent differences. This is due to the axial difference of binary fusion. Streptococcus and Staphylococcus are clinically important to humans as they cause diseases in humans. Both genera include facultative anaerobes and belong to Phylum Firmicutes.


Difference Between Streptococcus and Staphylococcus

Source: GrahamColm, en.wikipedia, 2010


Streptococcus is a bacterial genus, belonging to the Phylum Firmicutes.  Their cells are circular shaped and show bacterial fusion along a single axis forming chains. Most streptococci species are oxidase and catalase negative, and many are facultative anaerobes, which preferably live in aerobic environments, but still survive in anaerobic conditions.  Certain species of Streptococcus genus cause many diseases including streptococcal pharyngitis, pink eye, meningitis, bacterial pneumonia, endocarditis etc. However, many of the streptococcal species are non-pathogens.


Difference Between Streptococcus and Staphylococcus

Content Providers(s): CDC/ Matthew J. Arduino, DRPH; Janice Carr


Staphylococcus is a gram-positive bacteria genus which comes under Phylum Firmicutes. They have round cells, arranged into grape-like clusters, which is due to multiple axes cellular division, unlike the streptococcal species. Most of the staphylococcal species are non-pathogens, and normally found on the skin and mucous membranes of animals. These bacteria are facultative anaerobes and grow in the presence of bile salts. The most important feature used in the identification of staphylococcal species is their ability of producing coagulase, which is an enzyme that coagulates blood. However, not all the species of Staphylococcus are coagulase positive. Staphylococcal species cause many diseases in humans and other animals with the help of their ability of toxin production and penetration. The most common disease is the sialadenitis. The toxins of Staphylococcus are known as a common food poisoning substance.

What is the difference between Streptococcus and Staphylococcus?

• Staphylococcus forms divide in multiple directions (multiple axes), thus have grape- like clusters. In contrast, Streptococcus divides in one linear direction (single axis) forming a chain of round cells.

• Staphylococcus possesses catalase enzyme; hence it gives a positive result (except the species called Staphylococcus aureus) in catalase test, unlike the Streptococcus.

• About 50 Streptococcal species and 40 staphylococcal species have been identified so far.


Read more:

1. Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Bacteria

2. Difference Between Staphylococcus Epidermidis and Aureus