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

Mobile phones of health care workers are potential vectors of nosocomial agents

Emmanuel Chike Amadi1, Tochukwu Nwamaka Nwagu2* and Vera Emenuga3
1Department of Medical Microbiology, College of Medicine, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria. 2Department of Microbiology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria. 3Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 21 May 2013
  •  Published: 28 May 2013


Mobile phones have become necessary companions to most health care personnel and have been implicated as reservoirs of known nosocomial agents. This study was carried out to determine the type and frequency of microorganisms’ contaminating mobile phones of health workers in a University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria. Swabs of 50 mobile phones were collected and cultured, and contaminants characterized. Forty three (86%) out of 50 mobile phones were positive for microbial contamination. Samples from doctors and medical students had 100% contamination and samples from nurses 70%. Six clinically important microorganisms were found. Staphylococcus sp was most predominant and constituted 30.2% while P. aeruginosa made up 14% and Klebsiella sp, 9.3% of the entire isolates. Given the frequent occurrence of potential pathogens as contaminants, there is the need for strict adherence to proper sanitary measures by all who operate in the hospital environment to avoid dissemination of pathogenic agents.


Key words: Mobile phones, contamination, health care workers, nosocomial agent.