(1) (Science: microbiology) bacteria are group of micro-organisms that are a single cell approximately 1 micron in transverse diameter. Some bacteria cause disease in man, requiring treatment with an antibiotic.
Five major groups of microorganisms are responsible for the majority of infections. They include protozoa and helminths, or worms—both of which are considered in Parasites and Parasitology—as well as bacteria and viruses.
Bacteria are very small organisms, typically consisting of one cell. They are prokaryotes, a term referring to a type of cell that has no nucleus. In eukaryotic cells, such as those of plants and animals, the nucleus controls the cell's functions and contains its genes. Genes carry deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which determines the characteristics that are passed on from one generation to the next. The genetic material of bacteria is contained instead within a single, circular chain of DNA.