Big Concern for Public Health: Microbial Contamination of Mobile Phones

  • Tara Sadeeq Near East University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology, Nicosia, Northern Cyprus
  • Ayse Arikan Near East University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology, Nicosia, Northern Cyprus
  • Tamer Sanlidag Near East University, DESAM Institute, Nicosia, Northern Cyprus
  • Emrah Guler Near East University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology, Nicosia, Northern Cyprus
  • Kaya Suer Near East University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Infectious Disease and Clinical Microbiology, Nicosia, Northern Cyprus
Keywords: Mobile phones, microbial contamination, dental students, Northern Cyprus

Abstract

Introduction: Mobile phones are dynamic source of microorganisms in households and professional settings. The aim was to determine the prevalence of bacterial contamination of the mobile phones, identify bacterial isolates, assess their antimicrobial susceptibility patterns and define the efficiency of using disinfectant.

Methodology: This study included 233 dental students from Near East University, Faculty of Dentistry. Swab samples taken from mobile phones before and after disinfection were inoculated onto 5% sheep blood medium and eosin methylene blue medium and incubated aerobically at 37°C for 24-48 hours. Mold-growing mix cultures were sub-cultured on the sabouraud dextrose medium and allowed to grow at room temperature. Conventional microbiological techniques and VITEK 2 automated identification system were used for bacterial identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Antibiotic susceptibility tests were verified by Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion technique according to the European Antimicrobial Susceptibility Test Committee criteria. Mold colonies were identified macroscopic and microscopically according to their phenotypic properties using lacto-phenol cotton blue stain.

Results: Microbial contamination of mobile phones was 81% (120.953 cfu/ml) in swab samples taken without using alcohol-based wipes however, microbial contamination in swab samples taken after one-time disinfection was determined to be 21% (201 cfu/ml). The most common microorganisms isolated were coagulase negative Staphylococci (69%) and Aspergillus niger (13%). All of the isolated bacteria were susceptible to all antibiotics used.

Conclusions: This study represents the first data on the rate of microbial contamination on mobile phones in Northern Cyprus and the efficiency of the use of alcohol to disinfect the mobile phones.

Published
2021-06-30
How to Cite
1.
Sadeeq T, Arikan A, Sanlidag T, Guler E, Suer K (2021) Big Concern for Public Health: Microbial Contamination of Mobile Phones. J Infect Dev Ctries 15:798-804. doi: 10.3855/jidc.13708
Section
Original Articles

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