Single-celled microorganisms without a cell nucleus (prokaryotes), which are divided into three main shapes:
Their average size is between 0.5 and 2.0 µm (1 µm = 1/1000 mm). This makes bacteria significantly larger than viruses . Bacteria that require oxygen are called aerobic bacteria; those that cannot tolerate oxygen are called obligate anaerobic bacteria; and those that tolerate oxygen are called facultative anaerobic bacteria. Furthermore, bacteria are divided into two groups using Gram’s staining method: gram-negative (thin cell wall, turning red) and gram-positive (thick cell wall, turning blue). They can reproduce independently and have recently shown increasing resistance to antibiotics.
Bacteria are the most common pathogens of nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections: they cause more than 90 % of these infections.
Disinfectants that can kill bacteria have a bactericidal spectrum of activity .
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