most bacteria come in one of three basic shapes: coccus, bacillus and spiral.
Based on planes of division, the coccus shape can appear in several distinct arrangements:
diplococcus, streptococcus, tetrad, sarcina, and staphylococcus.
The bacillus shape can appear as a single bacillus, a streptobacillus, or a coccobacillus.
The spiral shape can appear in several forms: vibrio, spirillum, and spirochete.
The metric unit micrometer (1/1,000,000 or 10-6 of a meter) is used to measure bacterial size.
Cell sizes of some common bacteria
Bacteria Disease length (um)
Clostridium botulinum Food poisoning 3.8
C.tetani Tetanus 2-5
Corynebacterium dipthheriae Diphteria 1-8
Mycobacterium tuberculosis Tuberculosis 0.5 - 4
Neisseria meningitidis Meningitis 1
Pasturella pestis Plague 1-2
Salmonella typhii Typhoid 0.5 - 4
Staphylococcus sp. Boils 0.8
Streptococcus pneumoniae Pneumonia 1.25
Treponema pallidum Syphilis 6-14
We will revisit bacterial sizes when looking at BioProtect’s revolutionary antimicrobial technology. Using a mechanical barrier, BioProtect’s spikes pierce and rupture the cell membrane of each microbe. This prevents the colonization and growth of these microbes on a protected substrate, but also prevents the creation of antibiotic resistant Superbugs.
To ensure a substrate is adequately disinfected prior to the application of the antimicrobial, we recommend disinfection with our EPA registered hospital grade SmartTouch disinfectant. It is also NSF registered as a no-rinse food contact sanitizer, kills mold and mildew, and eliminates allergens and odors.