Abstract
BACTERIAL CONTAMINATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE MOBILE PHONES OF HEALTHCARE WORKERS

Shital Sangani* and Sandip Kanazariya

ABSTRACT

Background: Despite improvements in modern diagnosis and therapies, hospital acquired infections remain a leading problem of global health systems. Healthcare workers mobile phones are a reservoir for potential pathogens. Even if the high possibility of being contaminated, mobile phones are rarely clean and are often touched during or after examination of patients and handling of specimens without proper hand washing. Aim: The main objective of the present study was to isolate, identify different types of bacteria and their antibiotic susceptibility pattern from mobile phones of healthcare workers. Materials and Methods: Total 100 swab samples were collected aseptically by rolling over the exposed surfaces of the mobile phones inoculated on the agar plates and incubated aerobically. After incubation, plates were examined for bacterial growth. Bacteria were identified and antibiotic sensitivity was tested as per standard microbiological procedures. Observation and Result: All of the tested mobile phones (100%) were contaminated with either single or mixed bacterial agents. The most prevalent bacterial contaminants were Pseudomonas spp. and Escherichia coli followed by Coagulase-negative staphylococci. On the basis of antibiotic susceptibility test, it has been observed that most of the isolated bacteria became resistant to antibiotics, when compared to other isolates. Conclusion: We found that mobile phones are potential vectors which spread antibiotic resistance among microorganisms. So, full guidelines about restricting the use of mobile phones in clinical environments, hand hygiene, and frequent decontamination of mobile phones are recommended to limit the risk of cross-contamination and healthcare-associated infections.

Keywords: Contamination, Healthcare Workers, Mobile Phones, Nosocomial Infection.


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