African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5231

Full Length Research Paper

Bacterial contamination of healthcare workers' mobile phones and efficacy of surface decolonization techniques

Maryam Mohammadi-Sichani* and Vajiheh Karbasizadeh
Department of Microbiology, Falavarjan Branch-Islamic Azad University - Esfahan- Iran.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 27 October 2011
  •  Published: 16 December 2011



This study was performed to determine the rate of bacterial contamination of mobile phones of healthcare workers and the efficacy of 70% Ethyl alcohol and 70% Isopropyl alcohol as disinfectant agents. 150 mobile phones of healthcare workers in Esfahan's hospital were included. Samples were collected by sterile, moistened swabs and were cultured on blood agar and EMB and then isolates were identified. In separate studies, we assessed the effectiveness of Ethyl and Isopropyl alcohol against mobile phone surface contamination with Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC: 25923), E.coli (ATCC: 25922),Pseudomonas aeroginosa (ATCC: 27853) and Enterococcus faecalis (ATCC: 9854).In total, 94% of mobile phones demonstrated evidence of bacterial contamination includingCoagulase-negative StaphylococcusStaphylococcus aureusEnterococcus faecalis,Escherichia coliPseudomonas aeroginosa and non-fermentative Gram negative bacilli. Both Ethyl and  Isopropyl alcohol were effective at decontaminating mobile phones of test bacteria. Healthcare workers' mobile phones were contaminated in the hospital environment and therefore may potentially serve as vehicles of transmission of pathogenic bacteria. Strict adherence to infection control, such as hand washing and mobile decontamination is advocated. Ethyl and Isopropyl alcohol were highly effective at removing or inactivating pathogenic bacteria on surface of mobile phones.


Key words: Bacterial contamination, healthcare workers, mobile phone, nosocomial infection.