Basic Shapes

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.