Dangerous passengers: Multidrug-resistant bacteria on hands and mobile phones.


Introduction: It is recognized that mobile phones may play a role in microorganism transmission and that hand hygiene, is considered the most important action for preventing infections and the spread of pathogens. The objective of this study was to determine presence and circulation bacteria on hands and mobile phones capable of causing infections in people and also determine if disinfection with gel-alcohol is useful to reduce the bacterial colonization.

Methods: The bacterial evaluation included 596 hands of participants and 256 mobile phones. Isolated colonies were identified by biochemical test and confirmed by gene 16S rRNA sequencing. Minimal inhibitory concentration was performed using the automated instrument Vitek®2-Compact and diffusion method.

Results: In total, 92.9% of mobile phones and 98.3% of participants in study demonstrated evidence of bacterial contamination with different types of bacteria. Surprisingly, we observed that 18.6% plaques inoculated with disinfected fingers showed bacterial growth. In general, Gram negative isolates showed resistance to a higher number of antibiotics tested than Gram positive isolates.

Conclusions: Our results could help to raise awareness in our society about the importance of hand hygiene, as well as frequently used devices, reducing bacterial contamination and limiting the possibility of transmission of resistant multi-drug bacteria.



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