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British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, ISSN: 2231-0614,Vol.: 11, Issue.: 6

Short Research Article

Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas Isolated from Mobile Phones and Cheek and Ear Locales


Weslin Thomas1 and Anna R. Oller1*

1Department of Biology and Agriculture, University of Central Missouri, W.C. Morris 306, Warrensburg, MO 64093, Missouri, USA.

Article Information
(1) Faris Q.B. Alenzi, Department of Medical Laboratories, College of Applied Medical Sciences Salman bin Abdulaziz University (Al-Kharj), Saudi Arabia.
(1) Anonymous, Ain Shams University, Egypt.
(2) Mohammad Abdullah Yusuf, National Institute of Neurosciences & Hospital, Bangladesh.
(3) Monthon Lertcanawanichakul, Walailak University, Thailand.
(4) S. Thenmozhi, Periyar University, India.
Complete Peer review History: http://sciencedomain.org/review-history/11663


Background: Mobile phones may harbor pathogenic bacteria, so studying bacterial relationships between cell phones and the face is important.

Aims: To isolate and identify Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas from the cheek, ear, and mobile (cell) phones of college students.

Study Design: A total of 150 samples (three per student) were obtained from 50 random college students who gave informed consent and answered a brief survey. One swab was taken from the cheek, one from the mid-ear, and one from the mobile phone of each student. This study was performed in the microbiology laboratory at the University of Central Missouri, United States from January 2011 until May 2011.

Methodology: Swabs were plated in duplicate onto Mannitol Salt Agar (MSA), Oxacillin Resistance Screening Agar Base (ORSAB) Chromagar containing Oxacillin supplement, and Cetrimide Agar. MSA positive colonies were subcultured onto ORSAB and tryptic soy agar plates, which were incubated for 24 hours, and colonies were subjected to a confirmatory PBP2a assay. Statistical analysis was performed using a one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with significance set at (P = 0.05).

Results: Twenty-seven (54%) touch screen, 13 (26%) sliders, and 10 (20%) flip phones were swabbed. No Pseudomonas aeruginosa was detected. Touch screen phones harbored more Staphylococcus than other phone types (P = 0.028). Statistical analysis showed significance between the three locations of bacteria cultured from the phone, cheek, and ear (P = 0.03). Two students (4%) tested positive for MRSA, and 10 (20%) students harbored methicillin susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). Most MSSA were on flip (10%) and touch screen (8%) phones. More Staphylococcus colonies were recovered from phones belonging to females than males (P = 0.0001).

Conclusion: Staphylococcus aureus was recovered from the cheek and ear more frequently than from phones. No correlation was seen between cell phone, cheek and ear recovery of Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas; however, mobile phones may still serve as a reservoir for Staphylococci that may be transferred between mobile phones and the face.

Keywords :

Bacteria; methicillin-resistant; mobile phone; Pseudomonas; Staphylococcus.

Full Article - PDF    Page 1-8

DOI : 10.9734/BJMMR/2016/20616

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