30 Differences between Staphylococcus and Streptococcus

By Prof Mariam Mirambo

Elements Of ComparisonStaphylococcusStreptococcus
Cellular ArrangementSpherical cells in clusters (grape like clusters).Spherical or ovoid cells in chains or pairs.
Fission/DivisionIrregular division in all three planes.Division in one linear direction.
Catalase TestPositive (Presence of catalase enzyme)Negative
HalotoleranceHalotolerant. Can tolerate upto 8% salt concentration.Inhibited by high concentration of salt.
Common Culture Media UsedMannitol Salt Agar Nutrient AgarBlood Agar
Growth on Ordinary Culture MediaPossibleNot possible
Nutritional requirementSimpleComplex (fastidious organism)
Colony morphology2-3 mm in diameter, circular, opaque golden yellow colonies  (Staphylococcus aureus)b-haemolysis ,1 mm, circular, tiny needle tip colonies (Streptococcus pyogenes)
HemolysisNo hemolysis or beta hemolysis.Either alpha,or beta or gamma hemolysis.
Species NumberAbout 40 staphylococcal species have been identified so far.About 50 Streptococcal species  have been identified so far.
Differentiation into groupsBy means of coagulase test.By means of hemolysis pattern in Blood Agar and group specific cell wall polysaccharide (Lancefield grouping).
Species Differentiation– Coagulase test

– Novobiocin sensitivity test

– Biochemical tests
– Type of hemolysis

– Cell wall carbohydrate group     (A, B, C, etc)

– Bile Solubility Test – CAMPT Test

– Optochin Sensitivity Test
Normal FloraStaphylococci are found mostly on the skin as commensals.Mucosal membrane of human and animals. Mostly found in the oral cavity and respiratory tract.
PathogensMost of the Staphylococcal species are non-pathogens.Streptococcus cause many diseases.
Pathogenic SpeciesStaphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus haemolyticus, Staphylococcus hominis, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, etc.Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus bovis, Streptococcus  pneumoniae, etc.
Virulence FactorsPolysaccharide capsule, slime layer, teicholic acid, lipoteicholic acid, adhesive proteins, clumping factor, protein A, exoenzymes ( DNase, hyalurinidase, phosphatase, lipase, exocoagulase, fibrinolysin), enterotoxin, exfoliative toxin, cytotoxins(a-haemolysin b- haemolysin d- haemolysin g-haemolysin, Leukocidin)Lipoteicholic acid, F-protein, capsule, exotoxin, streptolysin S and O (haemolysin), Exoenzymes (hyaluronidase ,DNase, streptokinase)
Diseases causedFood poisoning,  bacterial conjunctivitis, skin diseases, community-acquired meningitis, Pneumonia, Surgical Site Infection, Wound infection,  impetigo, cellulitis, toxic shock syndrome, osteomyelitis and endocarditis.Strep throat, Scarlet fever, Impetigo, Toxic shock syndrome, Cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease), sinusitis, blood infections, pneumonia and meningitis in newborns.
Types of Symptoms  The symptoms of the Staphylococcal infections can include fever, chills, low blood pressure and red, swollen, tender pimple-like bumps.The symptoms of a Streptococcal infection can include fever, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, rash, red and weeping skin sores, confusion, and dizziness.
Treatment optionsAntibiotics like penicillin or methicillin if resistant. Vancomycin if MRSA.Penicillin / penicillin V amoxicillin