The main difference between serotype and biotype is that a serotype is a group with similar antigenic factors, whereas a biotype is a group with similar biochemical properties.
Serotype and biotype are two groupings of bacteria and fungi. They help to distinguish bacteria and fungi.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Serotype
– Definition, Features, Importance
2. What is Biotype
– Definition, Features, Importance
3. Similarities Serotype and Biotype
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Serotype and Biotype
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Serotype
A serotype is a variation that occurs within the species of bacteria or virus. This classification is based on the presence of distinct surface antigens. Another name for serotype is serovar. Serovar with common antigen is called serogroup. For example, the Salmonella genus of bacteria contains over 2600 serotypes. Also, the cholera-forming bacteria, Vibrio cholerae has over 200 serotypes. Also, serotypes occur in immune cells as well. They occur depending on the antigens present on the surface of the cells. Our immune system determines self- and non-self depending on the surface antigens present on the surface of the cell.
Furthermore, the serotype is determined in humans according to the Human leukocyte antigens (HLA) present on the cell surface. The immune system identifies non-self antigens as foreign antigens and causes an immune response such as hemagglutination. Also, serotypes differ widely in individuals. Therefore, when introducing foreign cells to a random individual, the immune system recognizes them as foreign, causing transplant rejection.
What is Biotype
Biotype is the presence of similar biochemical properties in bacteria and fungi. For example, C. diphtheriae is a Gram-positive rod or club-shaped bacteria that is slender and pleomorphic. Also, it contains four biotypes: gravis, intermedius, belfanti, and mitis. All four biotypes produce exotoxin and are pathogenic. They cause diphtheria. The symptoms of diphtheria include pharyngitis, fever, and swelling of the neck or area surrounding the skin lesion. Toxigenic biotypes contain structural genes for diphtheria toxin. However, the four biotypes of diphtheria are classified according to colony morphology.
Moreover, the presence of biotypes is challenging in biological control programs. For example, arthropods can be introduced for the biological control of weeds. Host plant-related variation is a common problem in introducing arthropods. Therefore, reproductively compatible organisms show differences in biological attributes. However, the term ‘biotype’ is only used for cases where the gene of virulence in the pest associates with the gene of resistance in the bost.
Similarities Between Serotype and Biotype
- Serotype and biotype are two groupings of bacteria and fungi.
- They are important in characterizing pathogens such as bacteria and fungi.
Difference Between Serotype and Biotype
Serotype refers to groups within a single species of microorganisms, such as bacteria or viruses, which share distinctive surface structures. At the same time, a biotype refers to a group of organisms having the same specific genotype.
A serotype is a group with similar antigenic factors, whereas a biotype has similar biochemical properties.
Vibrio cholerae is a bacteria that have over 200 serotypes, while C. diphtheriae has four biotypes: gravis, intermedius, belfanti, and mitis.
In brief, serotypes and biotypes are two groupings of bacteria and viruses according to their characteristics. They are important for distinguishing bacteria and viruses. A serotype is a group of microorganisms that contain similar surface characteristics. It is said that they have similar antigenic properties. For example, Vibrio cholerae contains over 200 serotypes. In comparison, a biotype is a group of microorganisms with similar biochemical properties. They are known to have the same genotype. For example, C. diphtheriae has four biotypes. They are gravis, intermedius, belfanti, and mitis. Therefore, the main difference between serotypes and biotypes is their properties.
- Murphy JR. Corynebacterium Diphtheriae. In: Baron S, editor. Medical Microbiology. 4th edition. Galveston (TX): University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; 1996. Chapter 32.
- Biotype. Biotype – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. (n.d.). https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/biotype
- “Serotypes – Antibody versus antigen” By Anna Bauer – Own work (CC-BY SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
- “Staphylococcus aureus biochemical tests for identification” By HansN. – Own Work (CC-BY SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia