Authors: Andrej OVCA, Barbara REDNAK, Karmen TORKAR, Mojca JEVŠNIK, Martin BAUER
Corresponding author: Andrej OVCA
Type of paper: Original scientific paper
Issue: Volume 6 | number 1 – 2012
Abstract: Mobile phones can act as a potential microbiological threat, serving as vehicles to transfer contamination from place to place. The aim of this study was therefore i) to detect the contamination rate of mobile phone surfaces with microorganisms and organic matter using ATP bioluminescence tests; ii) to identify and to quantify the microorganisms present on mobile phones’ surfaces owned by different groups of students, divided according to their course of study; iii) to examine the success of different methods for the elimination of microorganisms from mobile phone surfaces. About 60 % of 35 mobile phones exceeded 100 RLU according to ATP measurements. In 90 % of 90 swabs taken from mobile phones, more than 5 CFU/100cm2 were determined. In addition to total aerobic mesophilic microorganisms (90 %), bacteria of the genera Staphylococcus (65 %) and the Enterobacteriaceae family (39 %) were most often identified. Among all tested procedures for the elimination of microorganisms from surfaces, a putty containing a special antibacterial compound proved to be the most effective. The results show that mobile phones can be considered to be a factor of microorganism cross-contamination.