African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5233

Full Length Research Paper

Bacterial contamination of computer keyboards and mice, elevator buttons and shopping carts

A. K. Al-Ghamdi1, S. M. A. Abdelmalek2* A. M. Ashshi3, H. Faidah3, H. Shukri4   and A. A. Jiman-Fatani4
  1College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 2Faculty of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Petra, Amman Jordan. 3College of Applied Medical Sciences, Umm Al-Qura University, Mecca, Saudi Arabia. 4King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Saudi Arabia.  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 September 2011
  •  Published: 23 October 2011



This study aims at investigating the status of bacterial contamination of four daily used objects, computer keyboards, computer mice, elevator buttons and shopping carts handles. A total of 400 samples were collected from 4 different objects; 100 from each. Samples were collected from different places (offices, internet cafes, homes, buildings and supermarkets) in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 95.5% of the total samples collected were contaminated with mixed bacterial growth. Coagulase-negative staphylococci dominated the isolates. The second most common bacterial growth in all specimens was Gram-positive bacilli. Potential pathogens isolated from all specimens were: Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas spp. and Gram negative bacilli. Results indicate that internet café computer keyboards and mice showed 100% contamination in comparison with other objects. The presence of pathogenic and commensal bacteria on the four objects indicates that they might act as environmental vehicles for the transmission of potentially pathogenic bacteria.


Key words: Bacterial contamination, computers, public surfaces.