Types of Bacteria


Bacteria are a unique kind of single-celled organisms that are distinct from other viruses, animals, and fungi. There are many ways to classify these microscopic ancient organisms due to their distinct morphological characteristics. There are some breeds of good bacteria as well as bad bacteria and it is important to know the distinction so that we can protect ourselves from any damage. The different kinds of bacteria are divided into five broad groups based on their laboratory characteristics, habitat, their need for certain nutrients to generate energy, the presence of some cytoplasmic extensions like cilia or flagella and staining methods. Now let us look at the different kinds of good and bad bacteria:


5 Kinds Of Harmful Bacteria

There are some very harmful bacteria that can cause major damage to your body, such as:

Streptococcus Pyogenes

When you have a sore throat or any skin allergy or infection, it could be due to the presence of Streptococcus Pyogenes. These organisms can move around in the body and enter the blood stream and heighten the symptoms of these diseases ultimately causing septicemia and toxic shock syndrome. These bacteria grow in chains and are classified as gram positive coccus.

Escherichia Coli

E-Coli is one of the leading causes of diarrhea as it is classified as a gram negative bacillis. There are some strains of these organisms that can be even more harmful and cause circulatory shock and bloody diarrhea.

Vibrio Cholerae

These organisms are the leading carrier of cholera and have caused many deaths all across the globe. It generally breeds in unsanitary conditions and in food that has not been cooked properly. It spreads very fast as well so it is best to get it treated as soon as possible.

Enteritis Salmonella

Enteritis salmonella is one of the most dangerous kinds of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. In some severe cases, it can also lead to circulatory shock, diarrhea, life-threatening food poisoning, and dehydration. This is especially true in the case of small children. You can control the spread of these bacteria by taking proper antibiotics as well as circulatory support.

Salmonella Typhi

The fifth harmful strand of bacteria is the Salmonella Typhi that leads to typhoid fever and generally results in fever, dehydration, vomiting, blood diarrhea, and ultimately death. It is a gram-negative bacteria that must be treated as soon as possible to avoid any complications.

5 Kinds Of Good Bacteria

Along with the bad comes the good, and there are also various strands of good bacteria that benefit us. These are mostly present in our body and help us fight the bad bacteria and prevent diseases. There are different  kinds of good bacteria, such as:

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Lactobacillus acidophilus is one of the most common kinds of bacteria that are present in our oral cavity, intestines and vaginas. These organisms not only boost immunity but also maintain the acidic pH of your vagina. This acidic pH of the vagina helps in getting rid of other microorganisms and doesn’t allow any excess growth of any microorganisms. This strand of bacteria is even added to yoghurt, miso, probiotic supplements, and tempeh due to its beneficial properties.

Bacillus subtilis

download (4)Bacillus subtilis exists in our surrounding environment and the Nazi army first used it to cure diarrheal illness. These bacteria help regulate your metabolism and also normalizes gut motility. Bacillus subtilis is fortified and used in cheese, yogurt, ice cream, fermented soybeans, and milk.

Bifidobacterium animalis

Bifidobacterium animalis is present in our intestines and helps keep our digestive functions regulated and normal. It can also be used as a supplement and consumed externally to help cure irritable bowel syndrome or constipation.

Streptococcus thermophilus

Streptococcus thermophilus is one of the most beneficial bacteria that helps stabilize and regulate the functioning of your gut and boosts immunity. Streptococcus thermophilus is classified as coccus and can withstand temperatures up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. You can get the benefits of this bacteria by consuming any dairy product like cheese, milk etc.

Lactobacillus reuteri

Breast milk contains the probiotoc agent Lactobacillus reuteri that ultimately ends up in the gut flora. You can also consume this bacteria externally as it is present in food items like cheese and yoghurt.

Types Of Bacteria According To Gram Staining

Since bacteria are so minute, it becomes hard to classify them according to their cell components. In order to properly note their cell structures and functioning, scientists generally resort to techniques like gram staining. Gram staining involves dying the outer cell walls of the bacteria to distinguish and classify it from other microorganisms. On the basis of this gram staining, bacteria are of two kinds: ones that have a cell wall or gram positive and ones that don’t have a cell wall or gram negative. All these bacteria organisms have different variations to help them adapt to conditions where other bacteria cannot. The different groups of bacteria based on gram staining are:


Coccus generally are present all around us and are even found in our bodies as commensal on our skin, nostrils, genitals and oral cavity. They are spherical or round in shape and are generally found in clusters or chains. When these bacteria grow excessively, they can cause food poisoning, tonsillitis, and impetigo. For example: Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes.


Bacilli can cause cutaneous, gastroenterological and pulmonary infections. They can be both gram positive or gram negative and are generally rod shaped. The most popular kinds are E- Col that causes for hemorrhagic diarrhea and salmonella that causes typhoid.


Rickettsia is one of the most deadly organisms that is transmitted via sources such as fleas, mites and ticks and can cause fatal diseases like typhus and Rocky mountain spotted fever. These organisms are unique as they depend on living organisms entirely and cannot survive independently.


Mycoplasma is one of the most distinct kinds of bacteria that do not have an outer cell membrane, and thus cannot be treated by antibiotic treatments.  These bacteria can cause pelvic disease and fatal pulmonary infections.


Spirillum is a cork-screw shaped bacteria that can cause syphilis and Lyme’s disease.

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