Archive for category MIcrobiology
I once worked with a doctor who was mildly obsessional. Well, maybe he was moderately obsessional. It was long before the days of mobile phones. One of his obsessions was to use baby wipes to clean his phone. When he used the phone he held it in his hand but never let it touch his ear, face or mouth. He washed his hands immediately afterwards. We all thought he was a bit loopy, but loveable.
I can also remember when everyone in hospitals became obsessed with infection control. It was probably about the time MRSA first appeared. Infection control nurses went around inspecting wards, taking swabs and chastising everyone for not washing their hands enough. There were many meetings. But in the midst of this, no-one gave much thought to computer keyboards as a source of contamination. Then it eventually dawned and some research was done demonstrating the obvious i.e. they were communal honey pots contaminated with all sorts of organisms. So that was taken care of.
This paper identifies the micro-organisms found on the mobile phones and the hands of health care workers in an operating room and in an Intensive Care Unit.
COUNTRY : TURKEY
The rate of bacterial contamination of mobile phones is 94.5%. The isolated microorganisms from mobile phones and hands were similar (Table 1). Some of them are known to cause nosocomial infections. Hand contamination rates of HCWs and their personal mobile phones are shown in Table 2. It was found that 49.0% of phones grew one bacterial species, 34.0% two different species, 11.5% three or more different species and no bacterial growth were identified in 5.5% of phones.
Those S. aureus strains isolated from mobile phones of 52.0% and those strains isolated from hands of 37.7% were methicillin resistant. The gram negative strains were isolated from mobile phones of 31.3% and the ceftazidime resistant strains from the hands were 39.5%. At the study period our nosocomial isolates at ICU were: 33.3% staphylococci, 21.4% non-fermentative gram negatives, 21.4% coliforms, 7.1% enterococci, 11.9% yeasts.
The rate of routine cleaning of HCW’s mobile phones was 10. 5%, which means 89.5% of the participants never cleaned their mobile phones. Although the assistant doctors’ phones have higher colony count there was no significant difference in the rates of specific types of bacterial growth and colony counts isolated on all groups’ mobile phones (Table 2).
25.5% of the entire study population had one or more rings. The mean colony count was higher in ring using staff’s phones but there was no significant difference between rate of contamination and colony count (Table 2) (p > 0.05).
Considering the number of people employed in the health care sector, there will be loads of phones taken home and so there is a possibility they may be a means of transferring multiple resistant microorganisms from hospital into the community. Mobile phones are usually each only used by a single person within the household, however the main household phone and remote controls for TVs are likely to be used by everyone in the family and are likely to be contaminated by the mobile phone flora of the household. It seems logical then to have a cleaning routine for all phones and remote controls as well as computer keyboards. Maybe the obsessional doctor I worked with all these years ago was not loopy after all!
COUNTRY : TURKEY
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