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J Family Community Med. 2010 Jan;17(1):11-4. doi: 10.4103/1319-1683.68783.

Isolation and identification of microbes associated with mobile phones in Dammam in eastern Saudi Arabia.

Author information

1
Department of Botany and Microbiology, Faculty of Science for Girls, University of Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study was conducted to determine microbial contamination of mobile phones in the city of Dammam, in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia, and identify the most important microbial species associated with these phones in order to take the necessary remedial measures.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The analysis of a total of 202 samples was done to identify fungal and pathogenic bacteria isolates. Sterile swabs were firmly passed on the handset, the buttons and the screens of mobile phones, then inoculated into media of bacteria and fungi. Frequency distribution of isolates were calculated.

RESULTS:

There were 737 isolated of the following bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Neisseria sicca, Micrococcus luteus, Proteus mirabilis, Bacillus subtilis, and Enterobacter aerogenes at the rate of 56.58, 13.57, 8.01, 7.73, 6.51, 3.66, 2.85 and 1.09% respectively. There were fungal isolates as follows: Alternaria alternata, Aspergillus niger, Cladosporium sp., Penicillium spp., Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Rhizopus stolonifer, Aspergillus ochraceus at the rate of 29.07, 26.74, 20.93, 10.47, 6.98, 2.33, 2.33, 1.16%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

The study showed that all mobile phones under consideration were infected by several microbes, most of which belonged to the natural flora of the human body as well as airborne fungi and soil. This means that it is necessary to sterilize hands after contact with a phone since it is a source of disease transmission.

KEYWORDS:

Microbial of mobile phones; Pseudomonas; Staphylococcus; pathogenic bacteria

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