Mobile phones are used worldwide by health care workers (HCWs) in
hospitals during working time without restrictions, regardless of their
unknown microbial load. This study was conducted in order to determine
the bacterial contamination level of the mobile phones used by health care
workers (HCWs) at Sabratha Teaching Hospital and National Cancer
Institute, Sabratha, Libya. A total of 100 volunteers from HCWs (35Doctors,
15Nurses, 15Lab technician and 35 Students) were included in this study.
The results revealed that 74% of the mobile phones and hands of HCWs
were microbial contaminated. The Lab technician and Technology student’s
phones and hands had the highest microbial load contamination (87%, 80%
respectively). Staphylococcus spp, Klebsiella pneumonia, Pseudomonas
aeruginosa and Escherichia coli were the predominant contaminated
bacteria. Candida albican was also isolated from contaminated phones of
HCWs during this study. Candida albican is one of the common hospital
infection microorganism which serves as a vehicle for the spread of
nosocomial pathogens in hospitals. Our study concluded that these
contaminated phones can play a potential role in the spread of hospital
infection bacteria in the community, since the same phones are used inside
and outside of hospitals. To prevent the potential spread of infections
through mobile phones, training of the health care personnel about strict
infection control practices, hand hygiene, environmental disinfection and
routine decontamination of mobile phones with alcohol should be
advocated to prevent the spread of infection in the hospital settings.
Key words: Mobile phone, HealthCare Workers, Hospital, Bacteria.