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Bacteria Associated with Students’ Mobile Phones-Caritas University, Enugu State

C. C. Ezemba, P. E. Oli, S. O. Kehinde, A. S. Ezemba, C. C. Ezejiofor, E. C. Amadi

Abstract: Microorganisms are ubiquitous, they are found everywhere. Mobile phones are not an exception. Mobile phones, also referred to as palmtops act as fomites, a source of infection because the palms used to handle mobile phones are often times in contact with surfaces which may have been pre-infected; nevertheless, their potential role in transmission of infections is of great concern. A cross-sectional study (male and female) was done from June to August 2018 at Caritas University, Amorji-Nike, Enugu State, in order to investigate the prevalence of bacterial contamination of mobile phones of students. Swab samples were collected from 50 mobile phones of Caritas University students. These were tested for bacterial contamination in the Microbiology laboratory. Quantification of bacteria was performed using standard streak plate technique. Isolated bacteria were identified using standard microbiological methods which include: cultural and morphological characterization and biochemical test. Antimicrobial susceptibility was also done. The microorganism isolated from students’ mobile phones and their percentage frequency of occurrence were: E. coli (31.9%), S. aureus (40.4%), P. aeruginosa (8.5%), K. pneumonia (4.3%) and Streptococcus sp. (14.9%). The result showed that Staphylococcus sp. has the highest percentage of occurrence. The antibiotic sensitivity test indicated the varied resistance of isolated bacteria to antibiotics used in this study, although most isolated bacteria were sensitive to erythromycin and chloramphenicol except the isolates of E. coli which were the most resistant to the antibiotics used. The high prevalence of bacterial agents isolated from students’ mobile phones was attributed to poor hygiene and sanitary practices. It is recommended that students should wash their hands after using mobile phones, before eating or undertaking any venture requiring sepsis.
Keywords: Microorganisms / contamination / mobile phones / antibiotics / Phones Caritas University / isolated from students

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