Bacterial contamination of mobile phones of healthcare workers at a tertiary care hospital

Original Article

Author Details : Sufia Siddiqui, Hafiza Jamal, Santosh Kotgire*, Uzma Afreen

Volume : 5, Issue : 4, Year : 2018

Article Page : 460-465

Suggest article by email


Introduction: Mobile phones are used extensively by the healthcare workers who are completely unaware of the microbial load they carry. There are no guidelines on the cleanliness of these mobile phones which makes them an important source of hospital acquired infections among the patients in the hospital.
Objectives: This study was conducted to determine the extent of bacterial colonisation of mobile phones from health care workers and elucidate its antibiotic sensitivity pattern.
Settings and Design: The present study was hospital based cross-sectional study, carried out to analyse the bacterial colonization of mobile phones of healthcare personnel in the tertiary care hospital for a period of three months from 1st July 2017 to 30th September 2017.
Materials and Methods: A sterile swab moistened with sterile normal saline was rolled over the exposed areas of the mobile phones of 117 health care personnel which included 18 samples from technicians, 35 from nurses, 29 from ward boys, and 35 samples from doctors. The swabs were cultured on 5% sheep blood agar and MacConkey agar plates. Plates were incubated aerobically at 37°C for 24 hours. The growth was identified by standard microbiological techniques and their antibiotic sensitivity pattern was carried out as per CLSI guidelines.
Statistical Analysis: Statistical Analysis was done using MedCalc and Microsoft excel.
Results: Overall bacterial contamination was found to be 92% (108) and maximum contamination was noted on the mobile phones of laboratory technicians (100%). All the healthcare workers showed polymicrobial growth on their mobile phones and maximum isolates were observed on the mobile phones of ward boys. Staphylococcus aureus, 44 (37.6%) was the most common isolate followed by Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, 14 each (12%) and Acinetobacter species 6(5.1%). These isolates were resistant to commonly available antibiotics like Co-Trimoxazole, Ampicillin, and Amoxyclav. MRSA was found to be 16% in our study, whereas ESBL and MBL were not noted.
Conclusions: As these organisms can become an important source of Hospital acquired infection, strict hand hygiene, decontamination of mobile phones and restriction of the use of mobile phones in high risk areas should be advocated.

Keywords: Hospital acquired infections, Health care workers, MRSA (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) ESBL-Extended spectrum betalactamases, MBL- Metallo-ss betalactamases.

How to cite : Siddiqui S, Jamal H, Kotgire S, Afreen U, Bacterial contamination of mobile phones of healthcare workers at a tertiary care hospital. Indian J Microbiol Res 2018;5(4):460-465

Copyright © 2018 by author(s) and Indian J Microbiol Res. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (

View Article

PDF File  

Copyright permission

Get article permission for commercial use


PDF File    

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Article DOI

Article Metrics

Article Access statistics

Viewed: 1322

PDF Downloaded: 751

Wiki in hindi