KUMJ | VOL. 15 | NO. 3 | ISSUE 59 | JULY-SEPT. 2017

Mobile Phone: A Possible Vector of Bacterial Transmission in Hospital Setting
Karkee P, Madhup SK, Humagain P, Thaku N, Timilsina B

Background Mobile phones of Health Care Workers (HCWs) are capable of harbouring microorganisms that can potentially cause nosocomial infections. Frequent movement of hospital staff inside and outside the hospital can augment bacterial transmission inside hospital and even to the community. Objective To screen the mobile phones of Health Care Workers for potential pathogens and perform microbiological study of the isolates. Methods A cross sectional study was conducted in 124 Health Care Workers of different departments of tertiary care hospital. Swabs were taken from their mobile phones, processed immediately and identified and their antibiotic suceptibility pattern was studied. Results This study revealed that bacterial growth was positive for pathogenic organisms in 89 out of 124 (71.8%) mobile phones out of which 33 (82.5%) were of male and 56 (66.7%) of female. However, there was no significant association between gender and isolation of pathogens. Single pathogen was isolated in 74 (59.7%) of mobile phones and multiple pathogens were isolated in 15(12.1%). Amongst them, most common pathogen isolated was Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) (56.7%) followed by Micrococcus spp., Escherichia. coli, Enterobacter spp., Acinetobacter spp., Staphylococcus. aureus, Klebsiella spp. and Enterococcus spp. Most of the Gram Positive Cocci (GPC) were sensitive to Vancomycin (81.9%) and Ciprofloxacin (88%) while were resistant to Penicillin(83.1%). For Gram negative bacteria sensitivity to ciprofloxacin ranged from 83.33% to 100% . Conclusion Mobile phones are possible vectors of bacterial transmission and therefore are constant threat to the lives of already seriously ill patients as well as healthy individuals visiting the hospital. So it is recommended to make infection control guidelines which target the use of suitable disinfectants to avoid mobile phone contamination.
Keyword : Antibiotics, Health care workers, Mobile phones, Nosocomial infection