[ Pharmaceutical Sciences Asia - ONLINE ]
E-ISSN 2586-8470
[ Journal Abbreviation: Pharm.Sci.Asia ]
Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  FORMER NAME   "Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences" Published Since 1974


DOI: 10.29090/psa.2022.04.22.084Pharm Sci Asia 2022; 49(4), 356-363

The prevalence of bacterial contamination on mobile phones of pharmacy university students

Methee Sriprapun1*, Oraphan Atthakorn2, Atchareeya Phuakwilai2

1 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Pharmacy student, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Mobile phones (MPs) become one of the most important tools in professional and social life. Bacteria-contaminated MPs were reported in healthcare and non-healthcare workers but no study has investigated among pharmacy university students. We aimed to examine the prevalence of bacterial contamination on MPs and personal behaviors of MP usage. Fifty-three participants whose MPs had been used at least 3 months were enrolled. Each MP (n=53) was swabbed and cultured on sheep blood agar. Isolated colonies were characterized by conventionally bacterial identification methods. All participants were asked to complete questionnaires about behaviors of MP usage. Bacterial contamination was found in 52 of 53 MPs (98.11%) and 44 of 52 devices (84.62%) composed of heavy growth colonies(more than 15 colonies). The most abundant colonies were coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) (42.72%), following by Bacillus spp. (27.18%), Staphylococcus aureus (20.39%), Micrococcus spp. (7.77%), Corynebacterium spp. (0.97%) and viridans streptococci (0.97%). Co-contamination with CoNS and Bacillus spp. was commonly found (28.85%). Most participants had risks for bacteria-contaminated MPs, which were visiting hospitals in past 6 months (56.60%), sharing with others (92.45%) and using in toilets (98.11%). Additionally, 44 of 53 (83.02%) participants regularly cleaned their MPs and 20 of them (45.45%) used clean clothes or tissue papers. No correlation between MP-using or cleaning behaviors and bacterial contamination was observed (p>0.05). Our findings emphasized that bacteria-contaminated MPs are commonly found among pharmacy university students. MP users should increase awareness of personal hygiene and perform effective cleaning procedures to reduce bacterial persistence and transmission.


Bacteria, Contamination, Mobile phone, Pharmacy university student

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