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What is the difference in meaning between bacteria, virus and germs?
I have referred to dictionaries and they seem to mean the same.
Although as Bhaisahab said there are strict medical differences between the terms "bacterium", "virus", and "germ", in common usage "germs" refers to any unseen cause of infection or illness.
PS. As far as I can make out, a bacterium is a single-celled lifeform that reproduces by fusion, a virus is a sub-cellular "life"-form which replicates from genetic material within the nucleus of the cell it infects (it is a matter of debate whether it is alive or not), and a germ is the single cell or assembly of cells from which a multi-celled organism, such as a tree or a human being, grows.
Last edited by abaka; 05-Jul-2012 at 18:44. Reason: added PS in the hope it might help, although agree with the above posts that specialist texts should be consulted.
[QUOTE=Chicken Sandwich;899305]Viruses are usually not considered to be organisms.
OK, what are they considered to be? I'm not a scientist, so perhaps you can enlighten me.