Are we aware how contaminated our mobile phones with nosocomial pathogens?

Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. 2009 Mar 6:8:7. doi: 10.1186/1476-0711-8-7.


Background: The objective of this study was to determine the contamination rate of the healthcare workers' (HCWs') mobile phones and hands in operating room and ICU. Microorganisms from HCWs' hands could be transferred to the surfaces of the mobile phones during their use.

Methods: 200 HCWs were screened; samples from the hands of 200 participants and 200 mobile phones were cultured.

Results: In total, 94.5% of phones demonstrated evidence of bacterial contamination with different types of bacteria. The gram negative strains were isolated from mobile phones of 31.3% and the ceftazidime resistant strains from the hands were 39.5%. S. aureus strains isolated from mobile phones of 52% and those strains isolated from hands of 37.7% were methicillin resistant. Distributions of the isolated microorganisms from mobile phones were similar to hands isolates. Some mobile phones were contaminated with nosocomial important pathogens.

Conclusion: These results showed that HCWs' hands and their mobile phones were contaminated with various types of microorganisms. Mobile phones used by HCWs in daily practice may be a source of nosocomial infections in hospitals.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Carrier State / epidemiology
  • Cell Phone*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Environmental Microbiology*
  • Fungi / classification
  • Fungi / isolation & purification*
  • Hand / microbiology*
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Operating Rooms
  • Prevalence